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Tandoori Chicken


  • Chicken x 1 (5-pound)
  • Whole-fat plain yogurt x 2 cups
  • Garlic (minced) x 2 cloves
  • Ghee x 3 tablespoons
  • Lemon curd x ½ cup

Tandoori Spice:

  • Coriander seeds x 1/3 cup
  • Cumin seeds x ⅓ cup
  • Green cardamom pods x 2 tablespoons
  • Cloves x 1 tablespoon
  • Whole black peppercorn x 1 tablespoon
  • Bay leaves x 2
  • Cinnamon stick x 2-inch stick
  • Ananatto seed x 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika x 2 tablespoons
  • Kashmiri Powder x 1 tablespoon
  • Salt x 1 tablespoon
  • Ground mace x 1 pinch
  • Nutmeg (freshly grated) x 1 pinch

How to cook:

  1. Rinse the chicken using cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and remove any excess fat. Gently push your fingers between the skin and meat around the breast and drumstick. This will help in loosening the skin.
  2. Remove the backbone of the chicken with a kitchen knife.
  3. Place the chicken on the cutting board with breast-side up. Then use the heels of your hands to flatten the chicken by pushing from the breastbone.
  4. Put ⅓ cups of tandoori spice, ginger, yogurt, and garlic in a large glass baking dish and whisk thoroughly to prepare a marinade. Coat the chicken with the mixture and leave it to marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Dry the chicken by patting it with paper towels and sprinkle the remaining Tandoor Spice. Heat the cast iron pan and add ghee in it. Sear the chicken by placing it skin-side down for 5-7 minutes till the skin is charred and crispy.
  7. Flip the chicken over and use the oven thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken in the meatiest part. Wait till the temperature reaches 155 and 160 degrees F or just let it cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Baste the chicken with lemon curd and cover it with foil. Let it sit for a while before serving.

Tandoori Spice:

  1. Put the coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves in skillet heated over medium heat. Stir the mixture frequently until the cumin seeds turn brown. 
Grind the spices with a spice grinder or coffee mill into fine powder. Transfer the powder in a bowl with annatto seed, kashmiri powder, paprika, turmeric, salt, nutmeg and mace. Mix all of these spices together thoroughly and store it an airtight jar for up to 4 months.

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