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
- In a glass bowl combine the 1 cup of sour cream with all of the spices. Blend well.
- Add in the chicken breasts and coat well with the spice and sour cream mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- 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.
- 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 dish will be rounded out with a curry flavor rice and some sides of vegetables that include fresh green means and mashed summer squash.