Tandoori Chicken is a wonderful baked or grilled recipe and so tasty!
This has been a family favourite for years. It’s such an easy dish to prepare, whether it’s for a family dinner, a party, BBQ, picnic or buffet. The flavours are simply sublime. Of course a true Tandoori would be made in a Tandoori oven, but most of us don’t have one of those but we can recreate the flavours and textures right at home. The taste of the Tandoori is special in that it’s difficult to describe! You get a spicy flavour, yet it is not hot as in chili hot. The spice, mixed with the yoghurt and the tang of the lemon or lime is a great combination. The marinade keeps the chicken meat moist and succulent, and the skin gives you a lovely crispy texture. All these things combined with a delicious light, fresh crispy salad will win over any dinner guest! I recently served this dish to some friends who had never had Tandoori, so they didn’t know what to expect. For all the time they were eating the chicken, all they could do was say ‘mmmmmm’. They were left speechless! I often use this marinade for chicken wings too. They are great on a BBQ, and adds lovely colour to your table setting. So go ahead and enjoy this ever so simple dish!
8 chicken drumsticks (with skin)
1 cup or 280 ml Low fat plain yoghurt
1 lemon or 2 limes
3 Tablespoons Tandoori spice powder
**** To make your own Tandoori Mix (can store in air tight container)
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
(yields about 3/4 cup)
1. Prepare the chicken – Use a sharp knife and make 2 to 3 diagonal incisions in the thickest part of the meat, so the knife goes down to the bone. Make the incisions all around, not just on one side.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir in the yoghurt, tandoori spices and squeeze the juice of half a lemon or 1 lime. Stir everything well so it is all combined. (Save the other half lemon / lime for serving)
3. Add the drumsticks and leave covered in the fridge for 1 -2 hours, (minimum 30 minutes). The longer you leave the meat to marinade, the stronger the flavour will be.
4. Switch your grill on to a medium heat and place the drumsticks on your grill rack.If you want to bake in the oven, place the chicken pieces on a grill rack, with a little water in the tray to allow the steam to keep the chicken moist and bake at 400 F / 200 C for approximately 20 minutes (depends how thick your chicken is). If you want a charred effect on the skin after baking, pop it under a very hot grill for a minute or so until the skin turns darker.
Top tip! – Pour some hot water into the bottom of your grill tray (under the rack). This will make life much easier when it comes to washing your tray as the fat and juices will not burn onto the tray. The steam from the water will also keep your meat moist whilst grilling.
5. Your drumsticks will be ready when the skin crisps up, and turns slightly black and charred. Don’t forget to turn the drumsticks over when one side is done! Also, where you have made the incisions, check the juices are running clear from the bone area, and the chicken will be ready. See photo below
Once ready, serve with the other half lemon or lime (in wedges).
The chicken should be crispy on the outside with moist, juicy meat. This really is a delicious dish and can be eaten hot or cold.
Serve with a side salad of rocket leaves, cucumber, tomatoes and apple with a sprinkling of chopped coriander / cilantro.
I also served the chicken with some delicious warm couscous.
Baked / Jacket potato also matches well.
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