Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easy Tandoori Chicken

Tandoor is a cylinder style clay oven commonly used throughout India, Pakistan and the Middle East. The term tandoori means "prepared in a tandoor". The oven can reach up to 900 F or 480C. It's very impressive, produces the best naan bread ever and is something I'm obviously without in my modest NYC apartment.

 A lot of people use a barbecue as the next best thing and I would if I had a balcony or yard, but am certain that my baking method is just as good and comes out just as unbelievably crisp. In a way I'm happy I don't have such things as my circumstances resulted in a great alternative method. I placed the chicken on a baking rack which sits on a baking dish and waited impatiently as all the drippings dripped- leaving me with the most crispy and tender chicken plus renderings for dipping pita bread or future frying. Fantastic!

1 broiler chicken cut into eight pieces
1 tablespoon fresh garlic that's been grated to a paste
1 tablespoon fresh ginger that's been grated to a paste
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
pita bread

Whisk all the ingredients together apart from the chicken.  Salt and pepper the chicken according to your liking then rub the marinade all over. Leave for at least 2 hours or overnight (ideally). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking rack on top of a baking tray. Put the chicken on the rack and cook on the oven for 45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reaches 165.  Place the chicken in a serving dish. Toast pita in the oven and brush with the chicken drippings for some extra goodness! 

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