Monday, June 21, 2010

Tandoori Chicken

Dan & I picked up a whole frozen chicken from Tiny's Organics last week while at the Columbia City Farmers Market, and decided to give it the Tandoori treatment.

I only have a few Indian cookbooks, most of which focus on vegetarian fare, and none contained a recipe for Tandoori anything - so I did some searching around online. I ended up combining a few recipes into one - including the recipe for making your own Garam Masala I learned from the cooking class I took with Ruth a year ago - and making some divergent decisions from all the recipes I ran across. I couldn't see throwing away perfectly good chicken skin, so I opted not to remove it. I also decided to keep the bird whole, rather than break it down before cooking. Contrary to how I normally cook, I did add the red & yellow food coloring to try to give the chicken that distinctive red color - though you can see that even two teaspoons of coloring didn't do much.

I cooked the chicken with some potatoes and carrots, though they needed more than an hour of cooking for some reason, so I had to pull the bird out and put the veggies back in. We served it all with basmati rice, of course.

Tandoori Chicken
1 whole chicken
1 medium cinnamon stick, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tspn whole cumin seeds
1 Tbspn coriander seeds
1/2 tspn cardamom pods
1/4 tspn whole cloves
1/2 tspn fennel seed
1/4 tspn grated nutmeg
1 tspn black peppercorn
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbpsn grated ginger root
1 tspn cayenne pepper
2 tspn salt
1 tspn yellow food coloring
1 tspn red food coloring

Dry roast the cinnamon, cumin, coriander seeds, cardamom, cloves, fennel, nutmet and peppercorn in a dry pan on a low flame, till you begin to smell their aroma. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Slash the meat of the breasts, thighs and legs diagonally about 1/4 inch deep.

Grind the cooled roasted spices together in a coffee grinder to make a smooth powder.

Combine spice powder with yogurt, lemon juice, onion, garlic, ginger, cayenne, salt and food colorings to create a paste.

Coat the chicken (inside and out) with the paste. Cover and marinate for for at least 8 hours.

Place chicken in a roasting pan and bake uncovered in a 450 degree oven for 60 minutes.

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