Tandoori murgh

Tandoori murgh

Spiced roast chicken

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Tandoori chicken, perhaps the most well-known of all Indian chicken preparations, takes its name from the tandoor or clay oven in which it is cooked. Shaped like one of Ali Baba’s jars and usually buried in earth, the tandoor is heated by white-hot coals within. The chicken is threaded on a very long skewer, which is lowered into the oven, leaving the bird to cook over the coals. Try this version cooked in a gas or electric oven — it does not have the same flavour as when cooked over coals, but is too delicious to miss.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 x 500g spatchcocks, skinless
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1 tablespoon boiling water
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Garam masala
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons ghee

Method

  1. Make slits in the flesh of the spatchcock thighs, drumsticks and breasts, to allow the spices to penetrate. Dry the spatchcocks with paper towel.
  2. Gently heat the saffron strands in a frying pan over low heat for 1–2 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Remove to a plate to cool and crisp, then crush to a powder in a cup, adding the boiling water to dissolve.
  3. Put the saffron water into a food processor with the garlic, ginger and lemon juice and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients except the ghee, stirring well to combine.
  4. Rub the spice mixture all over the spatchcocks, especially in the slits made in the flesh. Cover and leave to marinate for 2 hours at least, or preferably refrigerate overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the ghee in a roasting tin and heat in the oven for a minute to melt the ghee, then spread over the base of the tin. Put the spatchcocks in the roasting tin, breast side down, so they are side by side but not touching. Spoon the melted ghee over the spatchcocks then roast for 20 minutes. Baste with ghee, turn on one side and roast for 15 minutes. Baste again, then turn to cook the other side for a further 15 minutes. Turn the spatchcocks, breast side up, baste well with ghee and pan juices, and cook for a further 10–15 minutes, basting every 5 minutes. Serve hot with parathas or naan roti and an onion salad.

Note

  • If the oven has a rotisserie, it is ideal for cooking tandoori chicken, but it will still be necessary to baste the birds because the skin has been removed.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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