I teased you with this chicken long, long ago. But trust me, it's worth the wait. That is...if you don't run off after you look at the ingredient list. Yes, it's a long list. But it's mostly spices (I get some of these in bulk here.). Truthfully, this is not a throw-together dinner. This chicken will take planning and some time (mostly marinade time). You might want to try it out on your day off or the weekend. And make enough for leftovers. It's good cold too.
Let me reminisce for a minute.
Years ago, in a land far, far away, I had my first taste of real Indian food. We visited a particular establishment and the friendly owners spoke of moving from India to bring their food to the military community in Japan. We quickly became regulars. I was partial to the butter chicken curry and it was by far the best I've ever had (I realized this after attempting to eat it elsewhere). But besides their amazing curries and mouthwatering naan, there was also tandoori chicken. For some reason we never ordered it. During one of our normal pick-ups (we resorted to getting it to-go once a week when we didn't want to go out), we picked up a butter chicken and a lamb curry with garlic naan. Much to our surprise when we pulled out the food to eat, they had thrown in some tandoori chicken. And it was heavenly.
Ever since leaving the island, I've been on a mission to recreate something at least somewhat similar to that tandoori chicken (and the butter chicken which I'm still working on). The recipe (roughly based on a few from a video I watched of an Indian chef making this) has been adjusted again and again and although it doesn't compare to my first taste of tandoori chicken, it will do. I say that not because it's not good, but just because I can't compete with real tandoori chicken cooked in a tandoor oven. Or by a masterful Indian chef. This chicken, however, is delicious for a home-cooked tandoori chicken. I could eat this every day. Truly.
Tandoori Chicken (Tandoori Murghi)
What you need:
8-12 chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skin removed
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 - 1 lemon)
sea salt (about 1/2 tbsp)
1/2 tbsp sweet paprika (for color)
1 cup full-fat coconut milk (or yogurt)
1 tbsp lime juice (leave out if using yogurt)
1/2 tbsp zested or crushed ginger
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp onion powder (or 1 tbsp fresh grated onion)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili powder (to preference)
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder (optional)
Cilantro (optional for garnish)
Lemon wedges (optional for garnish)
Remove chicken skin if needed and cut off any remaining fat. Cut two deep slits in each piece of chicken, cutting to the bone if using bone-in chicken (or alternatively you can poke holes in chicken with a fork or do both). Mix together lemon juice, salt, and paprika. Rub mixture into chicken. Place in a large dish or in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
(If you're in a hurry and can't wait for the 30 minutes: Go ahead and prep the chicken with the lemon juice and salt. Then let it sit just during the time it takes to mix the second marinade together)
Mix remaining ingredients together. You can do this by hand if you crush/zest ginger and garlic first (I use THIS to do mine) or just put it all it in your food processor. Pour marinade over chicken, turn a few times to coat evenly, rubbing marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours (up to 8 or overnight is fine). Flip once during marinade time.
Set chicken out to bring to room temp before cooking.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. You will need a broiler rack with a roasting (or other) pan underneath. Or a broiler pan. (I used a baking sheet with the rack set on top of it.) Line the bottom pan with foil for easy clean up and place rack on top. Remove chicken from marinade and place on broiler rack. Cook for 20-35 minutes or until juices run clear. (If desired, broil the top of the chicken to get the look of tandoori chicken for the last few minutes or so of cooking time. But take care not to overcook.) Test with thermometer (internal temp of 165 degrees F) or poke chicken with knife or fork to ensure juices are clear. Allow to rest a few minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges and cilantro.
Grill directly over medium heat (you might want to oil the grill so chicken doesn't stick). Flip the chicken after 5 minutes and baste with leftover marinade if desired. Grill with top closed (vent open) for 15-20 minutes or until chicken in cooked through. Can flip every 3-5 minutes, continuing to baste if desired. Allow to rest a few minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges and cilantro.
Alternatively, you can quickly sear both sides of the chicken while coals (or grill) are hot, about 3 minutes per side. Then move chicken to other side of grill (off the heat). Cook slowly for 45 minutes or longer.
|I used paprika for this batch. Can you tell the difference?|
Shared at: Allergy Free Wednesdays
****This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!****