Sunday, January 13, 2008

Almost Tandoori Chicken

I don't have a tandoor, the clay oven traditionally used to make this dish. But, I've found a way to roast the chicken at high heat in the oven then finish it off over a grill that comes close to producing the same smoky flavor and creamy texture found in the traditional recipe.

Almost Tandoori Chicken
2 cups plain whole yogurt
3 T tandoori seasoning
8 chicken breasts, thawed
1 each juice and zest of lime

Pound chicken between two pieces of wax paper to slightly flatten. Cut into strips. Mix yogurt and tandoori seasoning in large bowl. Add chicken and combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. If preparing ahead, omit the juice and zest of lime until 1 hour before continuing. Beware - anything that touches this sauce will turn pink, including your hands!

Preheat oven to 500 degrees (yes, it's hot!). Skewer the chicken into an S shape with metal skewers. Prop one end of the the skewers onto the side of a 9x13 pan or baking sheet, so that the yogurt drips off the chicken as it cooks. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove chicken and grill over high heat for 5 minutes, or until done. The oven roasting makes the meat tender and the grilling gives it a nice smoky flavor. If you want to simplify you can just roast the chicken for 15-20 minutes in the oven.

Serve with a cucumber cilantro salad and raita.

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