Tandoori Chicken is a quintessential North Indian food (phenomenon) that is enjoyed all year round! Tender pieces of chicken are marinated in warm spices and tenderizing creamy yogurt along with ginger and garlic and some lime juice for as long as 48 hours and then grilled in a Tandoor — a clay oven fired by coal. The result is a smokey and thoroughly delicious piece of meat that stands proud alone or wrapped up in a Naan.
For the holidays, I thought it would be interesting if I can put a spin on the traditional whole roasted Chicken and offer up a new way to enjoy a festive meal, but with a new perspective—a North Indian one. —Nomaste
Young whole Chicken (around 3-4 lbs)
Fresh Ginger (peeled and pureed)
Fresh Garlic (peeled and pureed)
spicy Indian green chili (optional)
Cilantro for garnish
In This Recipe
Lay out the Chicken flat on the working surface and pat it dry with paper towel. Make 5-6 diagonal slits all over the Chicken.
In a bowl combine all the spices powders including salt, and mix well. Set up your workstation with all the ingredients—the spice mix, ginger, garlic and green chili paste (which can all be pureed in a coffee grinder. Add 2 tbsp oil if needed) around the chicken.
Rub the chicken with some oil all over. Then peel away the skin from the ends and get your hands under its skin with a bit of oil. Next rub the entire Chicken with the spice mix, coating evenly the entire surface of the bird, and then getting under the skin, as well as in the slits as well. The more time you spend doing this the better the flavor is going to be. Next squeeze the lime juice all over and rub it in evenly.
Pack this up into a large and deep covered container and close the lid tight, and place in the fridge. And we have a marinated Tandoori Chicken! Half way there guys! But we must wait— overnight to be exact! If you're in a hurry you could pop this into the oven in around an hour or so but really, overnight is preferred. The marinade really gets into the skin and the tissue, giving you a really deep flavor.
When you're ready the next day, bring out the chicken and let it come to room temperature (around 45 minutes). And in the last 20 minutes start to preheat your oven at 375 degrees.
Grease a baking dish with oil liberally, and gently place the Chicken into the dish and place it in the oven to bake for around 45 minutes or so or till the internal temperature reaches 165 to 170 degrees. Baste with marinade juices every 15 minutes.
When you're done remove from oven and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with Cilantro.