Sunday, March 7, 2010

I don't get tired of Indian food--tandoori chicken sans tandoor

While I could go for a few days here and there without ingesting animal protein, my sweetie is, as he fondly put it, a meatitarian. He likes meat for at least two of his daily meals. Don't get me wrong, he's not someone who doesn't eat vegetables, and he gobbled the veggie curry from a few weeks ago.

I once had a friend who never ate greens; only white and brown food. It was scary to watch him order at a Chinese restaurant. "Beef and broccoli without the broccoli."

But anyway, we're talking meat, and this recipe for tandoori chicken caught my eye. I had to make the garam masala, which was both fun and educational and the rest of the ingredients were easy enough to come by:

10 pieces of chicken (drumsticks and/or breast with skin removed) I used two packages of chicken tenders
1 cup plain yoghurt I like Chobi or Fage greek-style. This is an unpaid endorsement
1 tablespoon melted butter I used unsalted
1 tablespoon lemon juice it's worth it to buy the lemon
1 tablespoon red chilli powder (adjust according to preference) I just heaped the tablespoon
1 tablespoon coriander powder Spice Islands brand runs a little cheaper than the high-end McCormick
1 tablespoon garlic paste-I actually had crushed garlic in the house
1 tablespoon ginger paste I chopped the ginger really fine. Next time, I may try crushing it in the mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon cumin powder Cumin and chili powder. Suddenly we're in Texas? Not quite, read on.
½ tablespoon mustard my kitchen is never without it
½ tablespoon garam masala powder see last week's entry for putting garam masala together
Optional Spices:
few pods of cardamom I bought these; I know I bought them, but somewhere between the cashier and my home they vanished. I keep hoping they'll show up in the trunk of my car.
pinch of saffron I'll definitely try this next time; I have some money left over from a modest tax refund.
Salt to taste I didn't add any. It can always be added later.

Note: You can also buy readymade Tandoori Chicken Spice mixture or paste in any South Asian store or ethnic sections of big grocery store.

I've seen jarred sauces, but never spice mixes at my local grocery store. I will say Patak brand is pretty tasty. I really liked their Jalfrezi sauce.
1 Mix all spices with yogurt and butter to make marinating sauce.
2 Prick the chicken (stabbity stabbity stabbity. Go crazy, we want the sauce sinking in to the chicken) and apply the sauce. Cover chicken and marinate overnight inside a refrigerator (at least 4 hrs).

I marinaded for four hours.
3 Grill the chicken in regular way.  (For better result, apply melted butter to the chicken just before you grill.)

What the hell is the regular way? And while I love butter, my cholesterol is a little high, so I skipped that option.  Anyway, it was too cold for Austin to open the charcoal grill, so we decided to use his George Foreman. Not quite the temperature you'll get in a tandoor, but hotter and more intense heat on both sides of the chicken than an oven. We did a few pieces at a time at about three minutes a shot.
4 Cook chicken until brownish (or way you prefer)
5 Serve sliced onion (ring) and lemon wedges with the tandoori chicken. Also, serve. Lemon juice can be sprinkled on the cooked chicken to add zesty flavor.

Next time, I'd like to try adding saffron and seeing what a difference it makes, and making it on a charcoal grill.
This recipe rocked for several reasons--generally easy to assemble, realistic marinade time. The chicken came out very tender and flavorful and the lemony taste was a nice counterpart for the curry served alongside.

Refreshing change in that I didn't feel the need to change this one too much and the results were devoured to the point of no leftovers.

Next week: rosemary pork loin

No comments:

Post a Comment