Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tandoori-Inspired Grilled Chicken Thighs

I love Indian food, both eating it and cooking it at home. If you do, too, here's an easy recipe for the grill that's reminiscent of tandoori-baked recipes. Although you won't get the same earthy flavor as you would if you cooked the chicken in a tandoori (clay) oven, the exotic spicing is deliciously similar. You determine how spicy to make this dish by adjusting the amount of pepper (red and black). This recipe makes 4 servings, but you can readily multiply it if you have more mouths to feed. For best flavor, allow the chicken to marinade overnight before grilling.

8 chicken thighs (boneless or bone-in; I prefer skin-on for grilling but remove the skin before eating)
1 cup plain all-natural yogurt (Greek yogurt is ideal)
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1 Tbs paprika
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp (or to taste) coarsely-ground black pepper (coarse grind is best)
1/4 tsp (or to taste) cayenne/red pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbs freshly grated ginger
2-3 cloves fresh minced garlic
Vegetable oil spray

Mix all ingredients, except the chicken and oil spray, in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, seal the bag and squeeze/shake to combine thoroughly. If using chicken with the skin on, carefully lift the skin from the thighs without removing it, to allow the marinade to come in direct contact with the flesh. Place the chicken in the bag, squeeze out the air, seal and shake to completely coat the thighs. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hrs, ideally overnight, turning the bag over from time to time.

Preheat grill to medium, remove chicken from bag and shake off any excess marinade. Discard the bag and marinade. Spray the thighs with vegetable oil spray, place on grill and cook over direct heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side (turn once). Move the thighs to cook over indirect heat and cook to an internal temperature of 180 degrees (about 35 to 40 minutes). Serve with a side of rice (or Indian nan if available) and a tossed salad.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

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