You ain’t Chicken: Tandoori Chicken!

Indian cooking made easy!! 

Chicken is probably the most versatile of all dishes- a blank canvas in which the addition of the most elegant of spices add the impressive touch of finesse. 

Which brings me to the subject of Indian cooking- Tandoori to be exact. Such a perfect blend and melody of flavors, if blended correctly, can make the perfect (MAKE AHEAD) meal. 

Don’t have a Tandoori oven? No worries! (neither do I)

Did I mention this is MAKE AHEAD? Meaning all that ‘work’ that needs to be put in can done up to 2 nights before, and thrown on the grill 20 minutes before lunch (or dinner) (or breakfast??) time. 

Ready? Grab a big bowl- here we go!….

You’ll need the following ingredients in these lovely amounts:

  • 1 tbs Ginger/Garlic paste (you can mince the ginger and garlic fresh)
  • 1 tbs Garam Masala
  • 1 tbs Cumin powder
  • 1 tbs Chili powder (more if you like extra spicy)
  • 1 tbs turmeric 
  • 10 tbs plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Kasoori methi leaves (crush these well)
  • Lime juice (from 1/2 a lime)
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste (be liberal on the salt)
  • 1 tsp red food coloring

Hopefully you have all these ingredients: most of them you can find in any sort of Indian or Asian grocery market. 

Tandoori Masala Powder, Kasoori Methi leaves, and Chaat Masala look like this…

Go for the plain, non fat yogurt- Greek yogurt tends to be a little more acidic (sour) for this recipe. 

Mix all these ingredients into a large bowl…be sure all the ingredients are incorporated evenly-

It’ll look something like this:  
Why add all these ingredients??…Each one adds a richness of flavor to each layer, and makes the chicken taste deliciously impressive. 

And now to the star of the show: CHICKEN!   

Chicken thighs are simply delicious with this recipe. Drumsticks work great too…essentially any dark meat. Before submersing the chicken pieces in the delectable marinade, cut little (very small) slits in the flesh to allow the marinade to penetrate through to the bone- this will make the meat juicy, moist, and fully seasoned. 

Throw (not literally… I think) the chicken into the bowl- 

 

No need to trim the fat off the chicken- when the meat hits the screaming hot grill, most of the fat will melt right off. 

Keep mixing….and mixing….and mixing- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and a layer of aluminum foil. You could also transfer the chicken to a plastic bag and freeze it for a later time entirely. {I just did the former, mainly because I was feeling a bit too lazy to transfer it to a plastic bag. Ha.}

Stick the bowl in the fridge! Let the chicken marinate for at least 4 hours (this is the extreme minimum). I usually leave this in the fridge overnight- and it’ll stay good for up to 2 days.   

(I’ll have to make use of those tomatoes stuffed in the fridge later 🙂 Don’t be alarmed if the next recipe is Tandoori Tomatoes. )

When you’re hungry, ready for some mouth-watering chicken…get out to your GRILL!

Make sure it’s screaming hot: 450 degrees F.   

Isn’t this the perfect way to usher in summer??!

Leave your chicken on the grill till it’s fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Squeeze on some lemon while its cooking- it adds a bold, fresh taste to the chicken. 

Turn your chicken over halfway during the cooking process:  
And serve!! I personally like mine with organic baby spinach and a squeeze of lemon:  

ENJOY!!! EAT!!! Repeat…

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