Tandoori chicken is a popular variety of Indian barbecue that’s exquisite to eat by itself and can be used as the base for many different dishes, including Grilled Chicken Salad with Spices. The bird owes its extraordinary moistness due to an extra tenderizing bath in lemon juice along with cayenne pepper before it goes on top to receive flavorful paste made up primarily from yogurt garlic saffron ginger which also includes other ingredients like oil or yogurt added into them depending upon preference It may seem difficult at first but once you get going there are no limits!
If you have time to drain the yogurt as called for in Step 1, then your tandoori will be richer. But if hurry is more important than flavor and texture – use one cup of undrained plain yogurt instead! I’ve given a range on cayenne: One teaspoon gives off gently spicy flavors with no biting back; three teaspoons produce an aggressive bird that takes flight at any hint of trouble–the extra spices are optional here since most Indian chefs prefer them not so much added into dishes themselves because this varies depending what type of dish needs definition during cooking/perfection stages (like spicing up vegetables). You could also cook boneless breasts however you need to cut the marinating time in half.
This dish pairs well when served with naan which is a baked flatbread.
- 4 hours for making the yogurt cheese (optional),
- plus 4 hours for marinating the chicken
- 2 or 3 long metal skewers
- Grill setup for direct cooking
THE YOGURT MARINADE
- 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 piece peeled fresh ginger (2 inches), sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Quick Garam Masala
- 1 to 2 drops orange food coloring (optional)
- 1 chicken (3 ½ to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
- 1 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Place a dampened double layer of cheesecloth inside your strainer and place it over a bowl. Then pour the yogurt over the cheesecloth allowing it to drain into the bowl. Allow the yogurt to strain for about 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- To make the marinade, add saffron to a small bowl and grind it with some pestle or wooden spoon. Then mix 3 tablespoons warm water into this mixture before letting stand for 2 minutes so that you can get maximum flavor out of your ingredients! Place garlic & ginger in food processor along with saffron mixture; process until smooth adding more liquid as needed.
- Transfer the drained yogurt to a large bowl and discard the liquid. Then add in saffron mixture, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, whipping cream and Garam Masala and mix well using a blender or food processor. Stir in the optional food coloring to get the desired tint and place the marinade in the refrigerator.
- To prepare the chicken: Rinse the chicken pieces under cold running water and remove any skin. Drain off excess moisture from each piece, then pat dry with paper towels before making 2 deep slashes to the bone in their fleshy side for easier cooking. Place all of these prepared ingredients into one large dish – it should be enough space so they can lay flat in a single layer. To give your chicken a nice spicy kick, combine the cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Season the chicken by sprinkling over top of each piece to coat thoroughly- make sure you get plenty inside those slashes! Add the lemon juice, then turn pieces and coat the other side with seasoning. Allow the chicken to marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Place the drained and coated pieces of chicken in a mixing bowl. Add enough yogurt marinade to coat each piece completely, then let them sit for 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- After 4 hours, remove the chicken from its marinade and discard the marinade. Thread the chicken onto skewers, leaving 1 inch between each piece to allow for better heat circulation.
- Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
- When you are ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange skewers on hot surface so they can be cooked evenly throughout cooking process- about 4 minutes per side (8 total). Transfer chicken onto plate after removing from heat. Brush the chicken generously with butter and place skewers back over flame until the outside is nicely charred and the juices are running clear when poked with a skewer or sharp knife.
- When it’s time to serve, remove the skewers and place the chicken pieces on plates or a platter and keep warm.