Sunday, March 21, 2010

Quick Recipe: Tandoori Chicken

Scouring the Internet I found plenty of different forms of Tandoori spice, so I’m convinced that everyone sort of has their own and therefore I’m free to figure one out for myself.

So I decided to roast a chicken the other night and wanted to Tandoori it. Michael Ruhlman has a great rant on the ‘convenience food’ thing, in particular pre-roasted chickens (you know, the kind you pick up from the grocery story on the way home from work). And speaking of America’s growing inability to cook for themselves, read this astounding article from The New York Times. It truly blew my mind.

I’ve tried this before but on boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I baked, and it didn’t turn out so well. I’ve adjusted the proportions a bit, and I think I’m getting closer, plus I’m trying it on a whole roaster. So here’s the mixture:

  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Grated ginger
  • Salt & pepper
  • Peanut oil

(I wanted to add some cardamom, but do you know how freakin’ expensive cardamom is?! Yeah, it’s $16 for one of those little 2 oz bottles, sheesh!)

I used a tablespoon of each of the dry spices, except for the cumin, of which I used only a half-tablespoon. I also used only about a teaspoon of salt and just a pinch of pepper. I minced up four garlic cloves and about ½” of ginger root (with the skin off).

I then added about ½ cup of peanut oil and stirred it all together. I placed the chicken in a large stainless steel bowl and coated it with the spice mixture. I then covered the whole thing and put it in the fridge for about two hours before cooking it (stuffing about five cloves of garlic and two handfuls of a combination of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage inside the cavity just before putting it in the oven).

The bird looked beautiful, and it tasted great, too. I made some basmati rice using chicken stock instead of water, and I steamed some mixed veg to go with it.

I’m still working out the balance of spices. The cayenne certainly gives it the kick it needs, and reducing the cumin was a good move, too. I think I need to increase the curry powder and coriander, ‘cause I’m getting a good combination of flavor there. And I should just break down and get that $16 bottle of cardamom, just to try it out and see what it does.

A'ight, Happy Sunday, peace out, and Namaste.

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