Tandoori Chicken

Right, don’t be daunted by this very long looking recipe. It is in fact surprisingly easy. Firstly if you don’t think that you can find all of the spices needed for the marinade then find a local Indian spice shop, I know for a fact that it is almost impossible to find mace in a supermarket but in the Indian spice shops they usually have big tubs of all sorts of spices (including mace) where you can get as much or as little as you need. Also don’t think that becuase you have to marinade the chicken that you can’t make this recipe, you just have to plan ahead. It is also worth noting that it’s a good idea to double the amount of marinade. You can freeze half of it for when you’re making it another a day, making it much easier for yourself in the future.

Ingredients –
1 medium sized onion, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, 2 in by 1 in
3 tbsp lemon juice
250 g plain yoghurt
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 generous glugs of olive oil
2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 – 1 tsp orange food colouring, (use sparingly!)
a few lemon wedges to garnish

6 – 8 free-range chicken breasts

Firstly make your marinade. Put the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and lemon juice in your food processor or use one of those funny hand blender sticks and blitz till a smooth paste is achieved. Scoop all of that out into a bowl large enough to accommodate your chicken or one of those very large glad freezer bags then add all of the yoghurt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, mace, nutmeg, ground cloves, cinnamon, olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper and food colouring. Mix thoroughly.

Now score your chicken, cut three diagonal slashes across the breasts and make sure the knife goes halfway through. Then put your chicken into the marinade (there might be more marinade than you actually need so if you want to then you could put the chicken in the bowl first then pour as much marinade in as you need, freezing the rest for another day). Put the chicken into the marinade and rub it all over the breasts and into the slashes with your thumbs.

Cover the bowl or just seal the bag and leave in the fridge for at leat six hours but I suggest that you make it the day before you’re using it so as to give the chicken a good long time to marinade. This will increase the flavour. Shake the bag or bowl a couple of times while it marinades.
Right, so when you’re going to cook this chicken, about half an hour before you do, light up your barbecue and leave on its lowest notch. After about 20 minutes, when it’s screaming hot, get your chicken out of the marinade and put onto the barbecue. Cook for about 6 – 8 mins per side and baste with the marinade as you cook. Insert a knife into the centre to see if the chicken is cooked in the middle, if not then leave for a couple more minutes until it is. I suggest you serve this with a couple of lemon wedges to squeeze over it and maybe accompany it with a salad and a small pot of raita. This is very filling and tasty.

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