Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tandoori-Style Chicken (Tandoori murghi) Review

3.5 stars (on a 5 star scale) (may be 4 if left to marinate for a long time)
p. 90-91

Quite different from tandoori chicken I get in restaurants:
  • Restaurant chicken tends to be spicy. This was not.
  • Restaurant chicken is often dry. This was moist throughout.
  • Restaurant chicken often isn't tart. This was tart, likely from the effect of heating yogurt. I'm told tandoori chicken is frequently supposed to be a bit tart, so this taste shouldn't be as surprising as it was to me.
The chicken was decent but not that interesting -- chicken that I'd be fine eating again but probably won't make again, at least given how it turned out the first night. Leftovers were better, possibly due to the longer time they sat, and also less tart. If the quality on the first night were as good as the leftovers, I might make it again.

Some notes on the ingredients:
  • I used drumsticks and thighs. Removing skin from the drumsticks is a pain. Next time buy de-skinned chicken!
  • I skipped the food coloring.
Some notes on the preparation:
  • I marinated the chicken for only six hours, a minimal amount of time.
  • Almost all of the paste went through the strainer.
  • I baked the chicken at about 550 degrees, the highest temperature my oven would go. When I checked the chicken after twenty minutes, it looked like it had just completed cooking.

Another picture of the chicken. This picture misrepresents its actual color.


lis donne said...

try spacing the chicken portions out more, you are meant to be reproducing the tandoor oven i.e.very hot, very dry cooking from the photograph your chicken was swimming in it's own fat.

mark said...

A good idea for next time: thanks! I think I cooked it right according to the recipe because the recipe says that when the chicken is done, you should lift them out of their juices (implying that there are pools of juices). It also doesn't say to remove the wet/drippy part of the marinate before cooking the chicken--that contributes to some of the liquid at the bottom of the dish.

Anonymous said...

Your oven is clearly not hot enough to complete this dish.

Try using a grill rack to stop the chicken from sitting in its own juices. I make this recipe fairly often and it works just fine. Best success is oven at 190C on a FAN GRILL setting. That is broiler is on (top heat only), but fan circulates so chicken browns on both sides. Timing about 25 minutes. Grill pan and grid should be placed 2nd rung from the top. Use smokeless grill insert to prevent fat splutters and excess smoking from the oven.

BTW, check your oven settings and try grilling with the door closed. The heat needs to be fierce enough to singe the chicken in parts.

Anonymous said...

I made this recipe yesterday from her cookbook and I would rate it 5. I made enough to have leftovers but there was none left. I used a grill pan. I was too lazy to strain the marinade and followed her instructions of 8-24 hours marination. I did 8 hours. I used the broiler and broiled it for just over 10 minutes on one side and just over 10 on the other for a total of about 25 minutes. It was so yummy. I let it rest for about 10 minutes as well. A good tip for skinning chicken is to grab a hold of the skin with a dry paper towel. Your hand does not slip and it is so easy. I did 8 chicken legs and 4 thighs. Next time I will use chicken breast. My chicken looked like it was cooked in a tandoor.... charred in places but not too dark... just yummy and moist.