Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ridiculously easy tandoori chicken

Full of chickeny goodness.
I'm of the opinion that the best recipes are often the simplest.  Overcomplicated cooking is like Shakespearean lesbian porn - it just doesn't work.

This recipe is a great opportunity to practice your chicken mutilation skills, though you can ask your butcher to joint the chicken for you.  By butchering your own chicken you save money and you get a carcass left over to make a nice stock with.  There are a few different methods that people use, but I'd recommend those methods that involve leaving the wings attached to the breasts as breast meat is nicer on the bone (in my opinion) and if you really want to take the wings off you can.  You can also do this with other birds.

As for the recipe itself, it's straightforward and designed to replicate the kind of food they eat in northern India, which involves breads like roti and naan rather than rice.

  • 1 x big free range chicken, jointed into six pieces (plus the carcass that you keep for later)
  • 4 x cloves of garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
  • 2 x green chillies, seeds in (\m/)
  • 3 x tbsps coriander powder
  • 2 x tsp ground cumin
  • 2 x tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 x tsp turmeric
  • 1 x tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bake your dried spices in a hot oven for about 10 seconds as this improves their flavour.  If you've got whole seeds, you can toast them whole in a dry frying pan and then crush them up to make the powder.  Mix them together with the lemon juice, the vegetable oil, the salt, the pepper, the finely chopped chilli and the grated ginger and garlic (preferably using a pestle and mortar) until you have an orangey red paste.
  2. Make a couple of cuts in each chicken piece using a sharp knife, then put it in a mixing bowl and smear the paste all over the chicken, making sure it gets into the cuts to really penetrate the flesh (we're all about penetration here at Heavy Metal Cooking).  Then do the same with the yoghurt and leave it to marinade for at least two hours or preferably overnight.
  3. Turn the oven on at full whack (which is probably about 250 degrees), and when it's come up to heat put the chicken on a baking tray and put it in the oven.  After about 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 190 and let it cook through for a further half hour (that way you get moist flesh but a crispy, charred skin).
  4. Serve with naan bread and enjoy!
It's a shame I missed barbecue season really as I think this recipe could have worked.  Ah well, life is full of disappointments (e.g. every Metallica album from the last 12 years).

Stay tuned as I will soon be uploading a very metal video demonstration of how to joint a chicken!


  1. Don't you mean every Metallica Album from the last 12 years EXCLUDING Death Magnetic which was ruddy bloody awesome?

  2. It was OK, I thought, but no Master of Puppets...