** Update: now that I’ve been blogging for a year, I thought it was time to improve the shabby photos on my first post. As my photography skills improve, and/or I run out of new ideas, it’s possible this post will recycle itself yet again! So if you missed this recipe the first time around, I hope you enjoy it. **
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Recipe Source: Adapted from Rachael Ray
This recipe is “ala Jen” primarily because of mistakes. The first time I made it, I did not have turmeric, so I used garam masala* instead, figuring something along the lines of “it’s Indian, it will work.” Also, in the course of halving the recipe, I forgot to halve the measurement for cumin. But I was still really happy with the result.
The second time I made it, I followed the recipe to a tee and didn’t like it as much. So what I’m giving you here is my version, including turmeric and garam masala, and twice the amount of cumin RR thinks is fittin’. I tend to be a fan of spices in general. But I guess the moral of the story is, you can’t really mess up this recipe. And don’t worry – it has a lot of spices, but it is not spice-y.
The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I have used breasts in a pinch and they work fine. First, you’ll be making a yogurt-spice mixture to coat the chicken. I wouldn’t recommend substituting regular yogurt for the Greek, as the texture of Greek is just… well, phenomenal. It’s thick and will cling to your chicken like this recipe will cling to your thighs. (No, not really!) If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can pick up the yogurt as well as the naan I’m going to talk about later. To zest the lime, you can use a cheese grater or a microplane grater. I just got my microplane and I’m loving it!
Coat the chicken in the yogurt mixture, then roast it on a rack in a preheated 500 degree F oven. Since I don’t own a roasting rack, I put a cooling sheet over a foil-lined cake pan, like this! Like a charm.
While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the apple-tomato topping. This topping might seem improbable, but trust me, it is perfect. So, sooo perfectly wonderful with this chicken. I like to use my trusty apple-peeler-corer-slicer for this task.
To serve, I like this with a dressed-up naan from Trader Joe’s. I like to buy their whole wheat naan, or if that’s not available, multigrain. Then I brush the top with olive oil, some fresh minced garlic and fresh cilantro, and toast at 350 degrees F for about 5-10 mins. Ahhh, heaven.
RECIPE – Almost Tandoori Chicken
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 green apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced into matchsticks
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and very thinly sliced lengthwise
3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 pieces naan bread, plain or flavored, store-bought, warmed
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Combine the yogurt with the spices and zest of lime in a large bowl.
Cut the chicken into large chunks and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add to the yogurt mixture and toss to coat evenly. Put a small wire rack on a baking sheet or a slotted broiler pan. Arrange the chicken on the rack or slotted pan and roast until charred at the edges and juices run clear, about 15 minutes.
Combine the apple, tomatoes and scallions in a serving bowl. Add the lime juice, oil, and salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine.
Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve with apple-tomato topping and warm bread.
*If you can’t find garam masala, you can make it yourself using this recipe. San Diegans, I recommend buying it in bulk at Henry’s – you can get a small amount for a small price, then decide if you need to buy more. Black Mountain Road, off Miramar, also has some great Indian markets!