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9/14 – Tandoori Chicken

September 15, 2009

Even though I grew up in an incredibly diverse town with a strong Indian community, I had never tried Indian cuisine until I was almost through college!  It wasn’t until my brother-in-law and sister-in-law tied the knot that I got to experience the incredibly delicious sensory treat that is Indian food.  I had no idea that so many spices and flavors even existed! Also foreign to me up until recently, were the unique cooking techniques involved in preparing some of the dishes.  So this week, I present an easy, beginners-style Tandoori Chicken recipe, taken from a WeightWatchers cookbook entitled Comfort Classics.

Tandoori Chicken

1 cup + 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used low fat, I really detest fat-free food items)

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 1/2 tbsp. paprika

1 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. curry powder

4 (1/4 lb) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed

1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated

1/2 tsp. salt

1.) Combine 1 cup of the yogurt, lime juice, paprika, ginger, and curry powder in a zip-close plastic bag; add the chicken.  Squeeze out the air and seal the bag; turn to coat the chicken.  Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.  I did 6 hours and it was perfect.

2.) Meanwhile, stir the remaining 1/2 cup yogurt and cucumber together in a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3.) Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil This is probably the most important step – do not skip this or you will be scrubbing the pan for days! Place a wire rack in the pan; spray with nonstick spray.

4.) Remove chicken from marinade, sprinkle with salt and place on the rack.  Discard marinade.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 25-30 minutes.  Serve with the yogurt sauce.

I also served cilantroed cous-cous and steamed string beans alongside the chicken.  I must admit, this Chicken Monday was not a home run.  Actually, the chicken was the best part of the meal.  The seasoning was  on the light side, which is why this is a great beginners meal if your palate is not accustomed to Indian seasonings.  The chicken was incredibly tender and cooked perfectly. It was also very easy to prepare and cook.

My husband and I determined two important things as a result of this meal: I detest cilantro (except in salsa) and Andrew does not prefer cous cous.

So, will I make the dish again? Yes, however, I will try out my sister-in-law Rupali’s Tandoori chicken recipe instead and will serve it will different sides.

And the best part about this particular Chicken Monday? For desert I slammed down a rather large helping of Dairy Queen Pumpkin Ice Cream.  Fall has now officially arrived!

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