I considered tandoori chicken as a treat to get at restaurants while it was served on a metal platter with raw onion rings and lemon wedges, directly from the clay oven (tandoor) where our naan was cooked as well. Accompanying this feast was a condiment bowl of mint chutney and the resulting medley of flavors was pure heaven to me.
I readily admit to not being a pro at Indian cuisine. It is still a journey of discovery and learning for me but I have had some yummy dishes come from my kitchen these past few years. So today we’re making some tandoori chicken.
This recipe is done in the oven since most people will probably not have tandoors lying about in a modern-day kitchen. We first bake the chicken to cook it before broiling it under high heat to imitate the slightly blackened, burnt color of restaurant versions of this dish.
The chicken is first marinated in lemon juice to break down the raw meat to allow the next marinade to penetrate and infuse the meat with flavor and moisture. This should be done for a short while so the lemon juice does not end up cooking the chicken and making it tough.
During the second marinade, I opted not to use red food coloring which is traditionally associated with tandoori chicken. I’m not very comfortable with the idea of it and the chicken still gets a little reddish hue from just the use of the chili powder.Print