Thursday, 7 March 2013

Tandoori Chicken

tandoori chicken skewers
Indian Revisited
It had been a really long time since I cooked anything Indian, I'm still pretty much a novice when it comes to this cuisine, I've eaten a lot of it in the past but it's not something that I've experimented with much in the kitchen.

I figured that I could nail Tandoori Chicken, start off with something easy then get the confidence with the spices and experiment further. Really pleased with the result, great blend of flavours which was all thanks to taste bud memory from my pre-gluten free days.

A problem I have with Indian cooking is that I can't use Garam Masala. If you aren't a regular reader then you won't know about my Pepper allergy, it's not a big issue but it does mean that some ready made spice blends like Garam Masala can't be used. It's ok, I just have to make my own blends.

I sourced a Tandoori Masala that I thought would work perfectly for this recipe, but despite having over 15 ingredients it just didn't cut it. 3 heaped tablespoons into the marinade base and the lack of flavour was quite curious. I could have left it out altogether and for this recipe I will because it made no impact whatsoever.

Thanks to a huge indulgence of Indian food in years gone by and a knack of recognising and remembering herb and spice combinations, I managed to whip up a great marinade that made the Tandoori Chicken taste exactly as I remembered.

You may be wondering why I didn't look up a recipe. I don't use other people's recipes because as a food blogger, what's the point in that? I'd just be copying and there would be nothing experimental about Free From G. Plus, as The Glutenite will attest, whenever in the distant past I did follow a recipe, the meal turned out cr*p. I don't necessarily think the recipes were to blame (some were though), it's just that I'm not good at following rules, I'm an instinctive cook and following a recipe by someone else just doesn't flow for me. I don't find it as enjoyable.

It's quite possible that I resemble a mad professor when creating something new from scratch, lots of jars and bottles and various ingredients covering the work surfaces, constant rapid tweaks, utter chaos most probably to watch. I prefer to think of myself as a Kitchen Witch though, if you aren't passionate about food then this will sound crass but it is a bit magical to me how all the individual ingredients go together to make a whole of something wonderful (most times). 

I made 2 versions of Tandoori Chicken, diced breast on skewers and drumsticks with crispy skin.

Tandoori Marinade Ingredients:

400g Plain Yogurt
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
2cm Square Fresh Ginger
4 Garlic Cloves
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Big Pinch of Sea Salt

Chicken:
1 Large Chicken Breast (makes 2 skewers of 8 pieces each)
2 Chicken Drumsticks

Directions:
  • Crush the coriander seeds
crushed coriander seeds
Lovely Smell
  • Get a small container and add the coriander and other spices
spices for tandoori chicken
Tandoori Spices
  • Peel and grate the ginger and garlic, add to the mix
  • Add the salt and mix
minced garlic ginger and tandoori spices
Sorry About The Blur
  • Pour the yogurt into a large container
  • Add the tandoori mix and stir
  • Dice the chicken breast if using
diced chicken breast
Use Whatever Chicken Pieces You Prefer
  • If using drumsticks or thighs use the tip of a sharp knife to make several small incisions so that the marinade penetrates through the skin
  • Add the chicken to the marinade and coat evenly
chicken in tandoori marinade
Pink Marinade
  • Pop into the fridge to marinate for at least 3 hours
Cooking Directions for Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks / Thighs:
  • Preheat the oven to 200C (220C for non fan ovens)
  • Take the drumsticks from the marinade and put onto an oven proof dish
uncooked tandoori chicken drumsticks
Well Marinated
  • Cook for 45 minutes turning halfway through and re-coat with some of the remaining marinade
tandoori chicken drumsticks
Mess Dish But Delicious Chicken
Cooking Directions For Tandoori Chicken Breasts:
  • Put the grill on high
  • Cover the grill pan with tin foil
  • Take two skewers and thread the diced chicken onto each
  • Place onto the grill pan
  • Cook for 18-20 minutes turning halfway through
tandoori chicken kebabs
Lovely And Charred
Printable Version

We had the Tandoori Chicken with Spiced Courgette Fritters but due to me running late and not having the time to let the courgettes drain of water properly the mix was a bit too wet to hold together perfectly when turned in the pan. A very yum taste but the end appearance wasn't good enough to share.

courgette fritters frying
Perfect Before Being Turned
Here's the proper no time constraints directions for making Spiced Courgette Fritters:

Ingredients:

2 Large Courgettes
2 Large Eggs
1 Heaped Tablespoon Corn Starch
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Heaped Tablespoon Garlic Powder
Big Pinch Sea Salt
Oil for frying

Directions:
  • Grate the courgettes into a colander
  • Put the colander over a bowl and press down on the courgette with a potato masher
  • Once you've removed some of the water leave to one side to drain further
  • Before adding the rest of the ingredients press down on the courgette with the masher once more
  • Crush the coriander seeds
  • Add all the other ingredients to the grated courgette and mix evenly
  • Heat a frying pan on medium-high
  • Add the oil
  • Spoon the mix into the pan in desired fritter sizes
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side
More gluten free Indian recipes coming soon.

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