Tandoori Chicken / Tandoori Murgh

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 245


1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, whole-milk
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 to 4 tablespoons water, warm
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 piece ginger, fresh (2 inches), sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup cream, heavy or sour cream
1 teaspoon Quick Garam Masala (see recipe in "Rub It In")
1 to 2 drop food color, orange (optional)
1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
1 to 3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted


1. Set a yogurt strainer, or regular strainer lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth, over a bowl. Add the yogurt to the strainer and let drain, in the refrigerator, for 4 hours.

2. When ready to finish the marinade, place the saffron in a small bowl and crush to a power with a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon. Stir in 3 tablespoons warm water and let stand for 2 minutes then combine with the garlic and ginger in a blender or spice mill and process to a smooth paste, adding more water if necessary.

3. Remove the drained yogurt from the refrigerator and discard the liquid. Transfer the yogurt to a large bowl and stir in the saffron mixture, salt, pepper, cream, and garam masala until thoroughly blended and smooth. If desired, stir in food coloring to the desired tint. Set the marinade aside while you prepare the chicken.

4. Rinse the chicken pieces under cold running water and remove and discard the skin. Then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Make 2 deep slashes, to the bone, in the fleshy side of each piece. Place the pieces in a nonreactive baking dish large enough to hold the pieces in one layer. Combine the cayenne, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, then sprinkle the mixture over the chicken, rubbing it in thoroughly with your fingers, making sure it gets into the slashes. Add the lemon juice and turn the pieces to coat. Let marinate, at room temperature, for 15 minutes.

5. Drain the chicken and add to the yogurt marinade, stirring to coat the pieces completely. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 4 hours, turning the pieces occasionally.

6. Preheat the grill to high.

7. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and thread onto skewers, leaving 2 inches between each piece to allow for better heat circulation. Oil the grill grate and arrange the skewers on the hot grate. Grill, turning with tongs, until browned but not fully cooked, about 4 minutes per side (8 minutes in all). Transfer the skewers to a large platter (see Note).

8. Brush the chicken pieces generously on all sides with melted butter and return the skewers to the grate. Grill until the chicken is nicely charred on the outside and the juices run clear when the tip of a skewer or sharp knife is inserted in the thickest part of a thigh and the breast meat near the bone shows no trace of pink, 2 to 4 more minutes per side, 4 to 8 more minutes in all.

9. Unskewer the chicken pieces onto serving plates or a platter and serve.

Serves 4

Note: Many Indian chefs cook the chicken ahead of time to this point, finishing it at the last minute to order. If you decide to do this, refrigerate the chicken, covered, if you are going to wait longer than 30 minutes.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 4
Total Calories: 245
Calories from Fat: 169

This Tandoori Chicken / Tandoori Murgh recipe is from the The Barbecue Bible Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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