I♥CC: Madhur Jaffrey-Spice Bazaar-Tandoori Style Chicken

12 10 2012

We’re in the 2nd week of cooking with Madhur Jaffrey at I♥CC.  This week our theme is “Spice Bazaar.”   That’s for sure!  The cuisine of India is filled with spices…cinnamon, fennugreek, coriander, mustard, star anise…and that’s only the start!  Garam masala is totally foreign to me, but I dutifully ground the ingredients (this time I selected a pre-mixed blend while I await my spice order!) and sifted them, bottled them and I’m using them.  The aroma is enchanting!  Still…I’m really in foreign (no pun intended) territory with this cuisine, so I’m doing my best to select recipes that get us there a little bit at a time…this week I selected Jaffrey’s Tandoori Style Chicken.

One thing I quickly discovered is that not all recipes can be made “same day” in my world without some serious forethought.  I’m not good about forethought.  It took 2 weeks for me to time this with our active-with-diminishing-energy lifestyle.  The chicken marinates at least 8 hours, but overnight would work.  You begin with a salt and lemon short rub and soak, followed by a long bath in yogurt mixed blended with onion, ginger, chile pepper and seasonings…including the enchanting garam masala.  After a long autumn nap in the yogurt mixture, the chicken was baked at a high temp in the upper third of the oven.  Okay…

I seriously think my oven ran overly hot on this one.  I cooked the meat just to the minimum time listed in the recipe…but the juices and marinade were pretty dried and caramelized by that point.   This recipe leads in to Ms. Jaffrey’s recipe for Chicken Tikka.  I was hoping to get to take that extra step…but not with this particular batch.  Maybe next time.  And there will be a next time!

Tasting notes~ This didn’t rate overly high on my scale.  I was anticipating more flavor…although what flavors that were there were rather nice.  I think I need to try this again and keep a careful eye on the cooking time.  It felt like it had some potential….but then…the breast looked underdone.  A couple extra minutes to try to brown it up a little…and it was dry.   I’ll try it again…because I’m really intrigued by Chicken Tikka!  I didn’t photo the finished plate because it was pretty WHITE.  The chicken was light, the steamed basmati rice was white…too much white with no contrast makes not a pretty picture!  LOL!

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