Mex-Inspired Tandoori Chicken

Printable Version (Recipe Only)

One of my favorite regular events Chez Robinson is Brew Day, when The Man and our good friend Jay get together to brew beer (today was barley wine), and I get to shoot the shit with Jay's most excellent better half.

I love them each, I love them as a couple, and I love it when they join us to eat, drink and make merry.

Today's Brew Day lunch, sadly sans Marcy due to unforeseen circumstances :(, was this Mex-Inspired Tandoori Chicken along with some...

Garlic Yellow Rice...

Potatoes boiled with a little salt and vinegar (the vinegar helps the relatively loose skin of Russet potatoes to stay put while the flesh cooks through and also sweetens the flavor a little) and pan fried in schmaltz and some chopped Romaine (because I always have to serve roughage of some sort) accompanied by a Cilantro Garlic Ají...

And some Cebollas Rojas Encurtidas (Pickled Red Onions) with cilantro.

Mex-Inspired Tandoori Chicken
Serves 6
Time: 20 minutes to prep the marinade, a minimum of 4 hours and up to a full day to marinate, 45 minutes to cook
Printable Version

The yogurt in this Tandoori-inspired marinade has a wonderful tenderizing effect on the chicken and helps the marinade penetrate the flesh so you have lots of great flavor through and through. You'll want to marinate for at least 4 hours, but 8 hours up to overnight is ideal.

- 5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, scored about 1/4-inch deep once or twice on each side (Whole drums and thighs, half or quarter breast pieces, depending on how large the breast.)
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped (if no fresh tomatoes, you can use 1/3 cup well drained chopped canned tomatoes)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- the zest of 1 lime
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons achiote powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (the other kind will do in a pinch, of course)
- 2 to 4 minced Serrano chilies (Jalapeños work as well)
- 3 Tablespoons oil

- 1 green onion, chopped, and a handful of chopped cilantro for garnish

1) Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix and massage with your hands to thoroughly and evenly season each piece of chicken.

2) Allow to marinate for at least 4 hours, and up to a full day, in the refrigerator, making sure to redistribute the chicken once or twice to ensure that all the seasoning gets evenly distributed again after the chicken and vegetable matter release liquid.

3) An hour before cooking, take the chicken out of the fridge and lay the chicken out in a single layer, skin side down, on a lightly oiled broiler pan, or on a rack on a baking pan or sheet, to bring the chicken up to room temp.

4) Preheat the oven to broil (this usually takes 20 minutes or so), then broil the chicken about 4 inches under the broiler element (yours may be under the oven or right under the top heat element of the main oven compartment) for 8 minutes per side, finishing this step with the skin side up.

5) Turn the oven heat down to 425F and continue roasting the chicken on the middle rack for another 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve on a platter with chopped green onions and cilantro sprinkled atop.

Brew Day meals never get eaten at the table because
the beer must be babysat. ;)

You can adapt this idea of Tandoori Chicken to any number of cuisines and flavor profiles. Another variation we really like is my Viet-Inspired Tandoori Chicken. 

If moist, tender, flavorful roast chicken is your cooking Achilles' Heel no matter how hard you try, you might want to give this idea a shot. :)




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