Tandoori chicken

For once we thought we’d go the Indian way with the classic Tandoori chicken. But I wasn’t sure about how close we could get to the real deal. Obvious reason being we’d use the OTG and not the ‘tandoor’. Anyhow, the results were fantastic. Juicy, succulent and tender chicken grilled in the oven to sheer perfection. Minimum use of oil (like ½ tsp per piece) and no food coloring at all, this was a guilt-free pleasure.
½ kg chicken
½ cup curd
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp red chilli powder (alter to achieve desired ‘hotness’)
2 tsp cumin powder
1 large lemon
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
Oil – ½ – 1 tsp per piece
The trick to get all the spices into the chicken and to make it as tender as possible is to marinate the chicken in the above mentioned ingredients for 6 hours or more. We were supposed to serve the chicken for lunch, therefore drenched it the marinade for like an hour or so and went shopping (for groceries). We did get a little carried away and lost track of time. That’s how the chicken sat in the fridge marinating for another 7-8 hours. It was meant to be!
So after the poor bird has had its share of spices forced into it, pre-heat the oven to 200C and let the chicken sit out at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. Using the grill accessory of the oven, place the chicken pieces of equal sizes gently on the greased grill and pop it into the oven and bake for 30 minutes on each side at 180C, greasing it with 1/2 – 1 tsp oil. After which turn up the heat a notch (225C) and place the grill on the top most level of the oven for about 7-8 minutes. This is just to get a nice char grilled color (if that’s a thing) on the chicken. Take it off and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side. Tip: Place a tray below the grill in the oven when the chicken is in there, to collect the juices dripping. Else you’d be scrubbing your oven forever!

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