Cooking On A Budget: Tandoori Chicken with Curried Rice

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tandoori Chicken with Curried Rice


Tandoori chicken is generally made by marinating the chicken in plain yogurt and spices and cooked in a clay oven or vessel called a "tandoor". The dish itself is popular in a number of countries that include Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

I may have had this many, many, many years ago while living in Washington, D.C. A girlfriend of mine was dating a young man from either India or Pakistan who at that time was working at one of the Embassies. He invited us to his home for dinner and made a wonderful dinner from his homeland heritage.

It's odd that I am now recalling some of the decor that also reflected his heritage and the table scape setting. He was to say the least a wonderful cook and a fabulous host and the decor was simply stunning and colorful. I am now wishing I was one of those people more fashionably comfortable where I could purchase some items in order to create the ambiance for this dinner.

Also, with this recipe which generally calls for plain yogurt, I am substituting with sour cream as that is what I have on hand. Another sub is a bone in chicken breast versus boneless chicken. The chicken breasts I purchased are very large and therefore could be split in half to serve four people. For this first time recipe I am choosing not to split the breasts in two pieces each, rather I will bake them whole.

The marinade will sufficiently be enough for a number of pieces of chicken. Therefore use any parts of the chicken you wish - legs, thighs, wings, or breasts. Perhaps for you it's more economical to substitute other parts of the chicken that may be on sale.
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp. each ground coriander and ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. each granulated garlic and paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. each: turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne and curry powder 
  • Olive Oil
  1. In a glass bowl combine the 1 cup of sour cream with all of the spices. Blend well.
  2. Add in the chicken breasts and coat well with the spice and sour cream mixture.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible.
  4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place the chicken with any marinade still sticking to the chicken on a foil lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees. I recommend turning the chicken in the last 5 minutes to get the under side a little browned as well.
The preparation time is extremely minimal and does not take long to cook so this could be a weeknight meal. You may want to make this on Sunday night and have the chicken marinate overnight and there you have Monday's protein all set to cook.

The dish will be rounded out with a curry flavor rice and some sides of vegetables that include fresh green means and mashed summer squash.

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