Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Chicken Tandoori

from An Invitation to Indian Chicken by Madhur Jaffrey

The chicken in this recipe should be marinated for about 24 hours. Assuming that most peoplelike both dark and light meat, the recipe allocates one whole leg and half a breast for each person. For best results, cut up your own chickens and choose birds that are 3 pounds each (you will need 3 whole chickens if you do this).

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
a piece of fresh ginger, about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces plain yogurt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam marsala (see Tandoori lamb for recipe)
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black papper
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 chicken legs with thighs
3 whole chicken breasts with bone intact, halved

1 medium-sized onion
2 lemons
extra lemon juice

Make the marinade first. Put the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and lemon juice in an electric blender, and blend to a smooth paste, about 1 minutes at high speed. Place this in a bowl large enough to accomodate the chicken. Add the yogurt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, mace, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, olice oil, salt, balck pepper, and cayenne. Mix thoroughly.

Skin the chicken. With a sharp knife make 3 diagonal slashes on each breast section, going halfway down to the bone. Make 2 diagonal slashes on each thigh, also going halfway down to the bone. With the point of a sharp knife, make 4 or 5 jabs on each drumstick.

Put the chicken in the marinade and rub the marinade into the slashes with your fingers. Cover and leave refrigerated for 24 hours. Turn 4 or 5 times while childen is marinating.

About 1 1/2 hours before serving, light your charcoal. It should take 20 to 30 minutes to get red hot. Place the grill on its lowest notch.

Peel the onion for garnishing and slice it paper-thin. Separate the rings and set in a small bowl of ice water, cover, and refrigerate.

When the fire is hot, lft, out the chicken pieces and place on the grill. Cook about 7 or 8 minutes on each side, then raise the grill a few notches to cook more slowly for another 15 to 20 minutes on each side. Baste with marinade as you cook.

To serve: Warm a large platter. Place the chicken pieces on it. Drain the water from the onion rings and lay tjem on top of the chicken. Quarter the lemons lengthwise and place them around the chicken. The chicken tastes very good with extra lemon juice squeezed onit.

This chicken is considered a delicacy and can be served at a banquet.

Serves 6

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