Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tandoori Chicken

If you like indian food, you may be familiar with tandoori chicken already. Contrary to popular belief, it's not at all difficult to make and doesn't need a lot of ingredients, either. This is perfect for summertime BBQ, served with salad or rice.

You will need the following ingredients:

1kg of Chicken Breast Fillets
250g of Natural Yoghurt
1tbsp of Tandoori Spice Mix
A Lemon

Utensils Needed:

Chef's Knife 
Plastic Chopping Board
Ceramic or Pyrex Dish
Grill Pan

Take the chicken breasts, and trim the fat & skin off them. score the top of  chicken about 1/3rd of the way down. If the breasts are more than about an inch thick, split them through the middle so they cook properly on the grill.

Once all the breasts are prepared, transfer them to a dish, ready to marinate. Juice the lemon and pout the lemon juice over the breasts. Grind a decent amount of salt over the top and set to one side whilst you prepare the marinade itself.

If you're using a 500g tub of yoghurt like i am here, decant half of it into a bowl and set the rest to one side. Take the tablespoon of tandoori spice and mix it into the yoghurt well.

See how the chicken breasts are going white? That's the proteins in the chicken denaturing - this makes the chicken tender and soft, and stops it from drying out under the grill.

Time to get your hands messy! Pour the yoghurt & spice over the chicken, and mix it through the chicken with your hands. Might be a good idea to have a tap running beforehand! Yes, i know you could use a fork or a spoon, but it takes longer and you never quite get the mix evenly spread out. At this point you should put it in the fridge for at least an hour, but even overnight, if you want to prepare this in advance.

If, like me, you're relegated to using an oven, or have no proper grill pan for the oven, you can use this trick - get a roasting tin and line it with tin foil. Suspend a wire cake rack over the top and ta-da, instant grill! Of course i'd rather use a proper BBQ or griddle for this, but i have to make do...

Spread the chicken over the grill, don't pack them in too tightly so that the edges get cooked through as well.

As for cooking, this will depend entirely on your grill/oven/bbq. Basically, you want the chicken to get to where it looks charred on one side, before you turn it over, so you'll need to keep an eye on it. As mentioned, it'll need to be cooked on both sides. If you need to add a little more of the marinade to the other side, there should be some left in the dish they marinated in.

Once off the grill, take the thickest piece and slice it diagonally to ensure it's cooked all the way through. It should be white all the way through the middle with NO pinkness. If there is any, put it back on the grill and grill for a further minute.

As you can see from this bit, it's all done nicely. Take them all off the grill and slice into large chunks, ready to serve. I serve mine typically with some boiled basmati rice for a simple, healthy dinner.

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