Tandoori chicken legs

Tandoori chicken legs

By
From
The Curry Guy
Serves
4 or more as part of a multi-course meal

One of the things about making Indian food daily and then blogging about it is that inevitably you come across recipes you want to make all the time. Tandoori chicken legs are a family favourite, and my basic recipe has changed very little over the years.

Red food colouring is often added to the chicken to give it that familiar appearance, but it is being used a lot less these days – it adds no flavour and is solely there for appearance.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 chicken legs, including the thigh, skinned
2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red food colouring powder (optional)

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
100g greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons Garlic and ginger paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 teaspoon Tandoori masala
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon Green chilli paste
1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango powder)

Method

  1. Cut 3–5 shallow slits in each chicken leg and place in a large bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken and rub it into the meat along with the salt and the red food colouring, if using. Set aside while you make the marinade.
  2. Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and work them together with your hands until smooth. Cover the chicken with the marinade and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, or up to 48 hours; the longer the better.
  3. When ready to cook, skewer the chicken legs onto flat skewers and heat your barbecue. Grill using the direct grilling method until the chicken is nicely charred and then turn. This is important when using skewers, as the meat needs to cook so that it expands and doesn’t move around on the skewers.
  4. If you can’t be bothered to fire up the barbecue? No worries! Preheat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and cook the chicken on a rack placed over a foil-lined oven tray for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. To get a nice black char, you can finish the cooked chicken directly under the grill heated to maximum temperature, for a minute or so.

PREPARING YOUR BARBECUE FOR DIRECT HEAT GRILLING

  • When your food is exposed to the intense direct heat, it gets a wonderful, smoky char on the exterior, while the interior remains deliciously juicy.

    When preparing your charcoal, it is a good idea to build a two-level fire. Pour your charcoal into the basin of your barbecue. Then spread the charcoal so that two thirds of the coals are stacked about twice as high as the remaining one third. This way, you can easily move whatever it is you are cooking from the hot side of the grill to the cooler side if it begins to burn before it’s cooked through.

    I use a lot of charcoal – about two full shoe boxes* – as it is important to achieve that intense heat. Light your charcoal and let it heat up until your coals are white-hot. To check if the coals are ready, hold your hand about 5cm (2 in) above the fire. If your hand becomes uncomfortably hot in 2 seconds, you’re ready start cooking.

    I like to cook using flat skewers when cooking this way. Skewering meat, seafood, paneer and vegetables gives the finished dish that authentic tandoori-restaurant look.

    *The amount of charcoal you use depends on the size of your barbecue. Refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
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