Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chicken Tandoori...supposedly

I've always been kind of freaked out by the red chicken. I mean, I eat it, but I had no idea what was on that chicken. Is it food coloring? Is it some kind of spice? Does the tandoori oven turn it red? No idea.
So, since I had some garam masala lying around in the cupboard, I thought I might as well learn how to make it.

Some people actually use red food coloring. I was surprised. The traditional recipes, however, use annatto seed paste--otherwise known as achiote. I usually see achiote in Latin American dishes, so I was really surprised when I read about this. But, being the amateur that I am, I don't have that in my cupboard. I mean, really, I don't ever use it for anything. Therefore, my chicken was not red. It just looked like roast chicken. It smelled ten times better than regular roast chicken though.
Creepin' on the chicken...
I've gotten very addicted to bon appetit lately. What a great magazine. I spent a whole day online last week, looking at their recipes. What great pictures they have!

bon appetit's version
I don't know what the heck they did to make it look that way. I love the tinge of orange on those chicken.

Easy Tandoori Chicken (adapted from bon appetit)

1 cup of plain, whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, or 2 tbs of dried
3 tbs of oil
1 generous tbs of garam masala
2 to 2 1/2 tsp of salt
1 large garlic clove, smashed
8 pieces of chicken thighs (Man up; use dark meat.)
1 medium-large red onion (I like red onions better.)

  1. To make the marinade, mix yogurt, cilantro, oil, garam masala, and garlic. Set aside.
  2. The original recipe asked for 2 tsp of salt mixed into the marinade. But, I like sprinkling the salt directly on the chicken so that I know how much salt each chicken is actually getting. So, do it whichever way you like.
  3. To marinate, get a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and place the chicken pieces and the marinade inside. Get as much air out of the bag as you can and seal it. Move it around with your hands so that each piece of meat is covered with the yogurt mixture. Leave it in your fridge for 24 hours.
  4. When you are ready to roast, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Slice the onion into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices, and spread on to a rimmed baking sheet. Lay the chicken pieces on the onions and roast for about an hour, or until juices run clear when the biggest piece of meat is pierced with a knife.

See, told you. It looks like regular roast chicken. I love the color on that skin though. I think Ina Garten would be proud. Now, just serve the chicken with the sweet, roasted onions, and maybe a little bit of rice. That sounds like a wonderful evening.

Bon appetit, y'all.

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