Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Ultimate Tandoori Chicken Recipe

The Spouse has been requesting Tandoori Chicken for dinner once a week for the last several months. I haven't been making it that often but I think we've had it half a dozen times so far this year.

Hence, I've had a lot of time to experiment. I started with the recipe from Cook's Illustrated, which is a lovely recipe but really does not impart enough flavor of the yogurt marinade. So I started messing about with ingredients, preparation and have finally achieved Tandoori Chicken Perfection (sorry ATK).

The Ultimate Tandoori Chicken Recipe

2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 cup plain fat-free greek-style yogurt
4 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp kosher salt
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add garam masala, cumin and chili powder and cook another 30-60 seconds. Transfer half the garlic mixture to a bowl, stir in yogurt and 2 tbsp lime juice. Refrigerate mixture until needed.

Combine remaining spice mixture with salt and remaining lime juice. Rub salt mixture onto chicken and let stand at room temperature for 30-40 minutes. Place chicken in a ziplock bag, add in the yogurt mixture and close. Toss to coat chicken thoroughly and place the bag in the refrigerator. Let marinade for about 1 hour.

Remove from refrigerator and let chicken warm up. Preheat grill to 400ºF. Remove chicken from bag, making sure to leave some of the yogurt marinade on the breasts, and discard the remaining marinade. Grill chicken 10 minutes, flipping once halfway thru, until a probe inserted reads 160ºF. Remove chicken from grill, tent with tinfoil, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with couscous and tomato & cucumber salad.

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