Thursday, 9 June 2011

Faux Tandoori Chicken Thighs/"Tandoori" For Lazy People.

This dish has very little to do with authentic Tandoori. But there are enough similarities that I thought it merited some sort of qualified Tandoori-ish recipe title. Hence, what you see above. take some chicken parts (thighs or breasts are best - this isn't really a wing-friendly sauce). Pour a delicious bath for them that consists mainly of plain yogurt (the good, full-fat, ideally Greek/Balkan kind) and Indian hot curry paste. If you want to get a little fancy, add some garlic, ginger, cilantro, and lime juice to the marinade. Serve with rice. Now I'm not saying this would wow the chefs at Lahore Tikka House or nothing, but it's a good, flavourful, Indian-ish dish.

"Tandoori" for Lazy People

All flatware courtesy of Dollarama.

6 chicken thighs/3 chicken breasts, boneless skinless (thighs are better, frankly, and cheaper - and harder to overcook)
1 cup of plain yogurt, preferable Balkan/Greek, the thicker the better
2 tbsp Indian curry paste (I use Patak's Hot)
juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chunk of ginger, grated (I use the small holes of my regular cheese grater - wash grater properly after to avoid ginger cheese; also, don't worry about peeling ginger - total waste of time)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir together all the ingredients in a big bowl or casserole dish. (If you're going to grill the chicken, see below, reserve a few tablespoons of the sauce to glaze with toward the end of grilling). Add the chicken last to make sure the sauce ingredients are well incorporated. If you have the time, marinate the chicken in the sauce for up to 4 hours before you cook. But don't worry if you don't have time - there's enough flavour in the dish to skip marinating altogether if it's not doable.

Pop the casserole dish with chicken in it directly into the preheated oven. It took about 30 minutes to cook, but it will depend. It might seem quite liquidy, but not to worry...the liquid will keep the chicken moist and you can spoon it over the delicious basmati rice that you serve it with. To assess whether chicken is done, you're supposed to see if the 'juices run clear'. I find this highly difficult sometimes. So, I do it the old-fashioned way, and pick up a thigh, cut into the middle, and see whether it's pink. If it's pink, stick it back in the oven, until it's not. Foolproof.

You could also barbecue the chicken if that suits your fancy. If you do, drain the chicken of most of the marinade before placing on the grill. Grill over a fairly low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, glazing with the reserved sauce towards the end of cooking.

Again, I served mine with basmati rice. Which I friggin' love. I also made a snappy little cucumber salad by doing the following:  I diced up half a cucumber, then picked some mint from the garden, (mint is crazy easy to grow and will provide you with plenty of mojito inspiration all summer) sliced that up finely and added to the cucumber. Then I sprinkled over a bit of lime juice, a bit of fish sauce*, and about half a teaspoon of brown sugar. Super delicious and dead easy.

*Everyone, in my humble opinion, should have fish sauce in their fridge. I use it constantly. It usually comes in giant bottles, but don't fear, it pretty much never goes bad. Likely because it sort of smells like it's already gone bad? It's basically fermented anchovies. But don't let that dissuade you. Seriously! It's awesome in curries, salads, and stir-frys, just to name a few. I know it sounds unseemly (who wants a sauce made of fish), but I swear to you it will become your secret ingredient, if only you'll let it.

1 comment:

  1. Fish sauce is indeed indispensable and should be in the fridge at all times. Your upstairs neighbour shouldn't knock over his bottle and let it leak through your ceiling, however. Absolutely trust me on that one.