The pickiest eater in our family is our son. As he told us a couple of years ago, he just “doesn’t like flavor.” No spices or seasonings, no salad dressings, no mustard or relish, nothing extra. He eats vegetables and salads, but plain. He does like sushi and other Japanese food, which is a good thing since he lives in Japan. But otherwise he keeps it fairly simple.
Except he loved this tandoori-style chicken. He wouldn’t touch yogurt otherwise, but he thought this spiced yogurt marinaded chicken was fantastic. And so do I.
I’ve always fixed this with boneless, skinless thighs because they’re inexpensive and because I prefer the flavor of thigh meat to other parts of the chicken. I think this recipe tastes best when it’s grilled, but if that’s not possible it can be baked in a hot oven. For a more “authentic” tandoori finish I preheat the oven to 400° and bake the chicken thighs on a rack (so the fat drips off) for around 35-40 minutes. The combination of spices and yogurt works to tenderize the chicken to where it almost melts in your mouth. In fact, if you are using chicken breasts you probably won’t want to marinate it as long as the recipe calls for as the chicken could become too tender, or mushy.
Traditional tandoori chicken is quite highly spiced, so if you want some more heat you can add more chili powder or cayenne pepper. The chicken goes well with basmati rice, raita, naan bread, lentils and other Indian dishes.
(Picture credit: Eating Out Loud) I forgot to take a picture!
CHICKEN IN GINGER-YOGURT MARINADE
- 2 1/2 – 3 pounds cut up chicken
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
- 1/4 tsp EACH ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and chili powder
Wipe chicken and place in a baking pan or glass dish; salt lightly. Mix together the yogurt, garlic, ginger and spices, then spoon over the chicken and stir to make sure pieces are coated completely. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 8 hours.
Chicken can be grilled (turn frequently) or baked in a 350° oven for about one hour or until done.