Taking the complication out of cooking! You don't have to be a master chef to cook great food. Relax, have fun, and put some love into it.
Spice Is Where It's At
Having the opportunity to travel abroad for work and pleasure, I have developed a liking for using spices and spicy foods. Whether it's in spicy Indian foods or foods from Thailand and Vietnam, I just love spice. That doesn't take away from all the other foods I like, but I can surely see how wars where fought over spices. Here's my take on tandoori chicken. This dish can be done in a smoker or oven, so let's get going and make some delicious Indian food.
A few fun facts about this food and spices for your reading pleasure:
- Chicken is used in India and is regarded as a special occasion food, served at weddings, birthdays, and festivals.
- Indian spice mixtures have a delightfully vibrant, and at times a mystical, smell and feel about them.
- The aromatic spices like masalas vary from mild to hot and spices like garam masala are widely used as a condiment.
In this recipe, I used garam masala and a store-purchased tandoori spice mix. Having access to a really great spice store in Princeton, New Jersey is a blessing to a chef like myself, and has made my job easier.
So let's journey into India and believe we are at a large wedding, filled with great spicy foods, vibrant smells, colors, and festive people.
I serve my chicken tandoori with basmati rice, nann bread (Indian bread), and usually some other type of curry dish, such as my creamy curry lentils. It's always nice to have a great side dish other than just rice.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 30 min
2 hours 30 min
Serves Six People
- 3 lbs Chicken Thighs, Skin Removed
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt, Plain
- 2 Tbsp Garam Masala, Powder
- 2 Tbsp Tandoori Powder, or Vindaloo paste
- 2 Tbsp Garlic, Crushed
- 2 Tbsp Ghee or Butter, Melted
- 2 Limes
- 2 Drops Red Food Color, Optional
Smoker Tandoori Chicken
- Remove skin from chicken thighs and make 3 cuts or slices in the meat down to the bone.
- In a large bowl, add (1) cup of the plain yogurt.
- Next add all the spices to the yogurt and mix well. 1) Garam Masala (2Tbsp) 2) Tandoori Seasoning (2Tbsp) 3) Red Food Coloring (2 Drops) Optional 4) Crushed Garlic
- Next it's time to get messy. Place your chicken thighs in the yogurt & spice mixture and massage the mixture into the meat.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
- Once the meat has marinated in the yogurt & spice mixture, it's ready for the oven. Set your oven (or smoker) for 375 degrees. Place the chicken on a foil lined baking pan that has the melted ghee or butter on it, and place in the oven for one hour to cook. I smoked my chicken with hickory wood for 40 minutes at 350 degrees and finished them off in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes for added flavor.
- 10 minutes before the chicken is done, squeeze some lime on each piece and let cook until done.
- Once the chicken is out of the oven, squeeze some more lime juice on each piece, lightly salt and sprinkle a little of the garam masala on each piece as well.
- Serve with some basmati rice and naan bread (Indian bread) and use the garam masala spice as a condiment.
Questions & Answers
Question: On what special occasion would you have tandoori chicken in India?
Answer: There are no special occasions for making Tandoori Chicken in India but many dishes are used for large gathering like weddings.