Friday, June 24, 2011

~Fantastic Foodie Fridays~ Tandoori Chicken Legs

I love trying out new recipes.  To experience exotic new spices and flavors that make your taste buds dance, as well as making your mouth smile.  I am allergic to peppers.   So I avoid them like the plague, but I still try to make different recipes just omitting the peppers          ( when possible ). This recipe is one that I haven't made in quite a while.  I know that the marinade base contains yogurt along with other ingredients, but I still feel that this is on the light side of cooking.  So, here we go & I hope you enjoy this recipe.  

~Tandoori Chicken Legs~
1 container ( 8 ounces/250 g) Plain (Unflavored) Yogurt
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Ground Turmeric
8 Medium Skinless Whole Chicken Legs

First:  In the plastic bag, combine the Yogurt, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Vegetable Oil, Cumin, Chili Powder, Salt and Turmeric.  Press the top of the bag so it is flat and there are no air bubbles inside, then seal the bag.  Gently squish the bag to mix the ingredients. 
Second:  Carefully open the bag and add the Chicken Legs.  Seal the bag as before and gently move the bag to coat the Chicken in the Yogurt Mixture.  Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours or longer.  ( Also, remember to remove all of the skin off the Chicken before you place it in the mixture ).
Third: Arrange the oven rack in upper third of the oven.  Heat the oven to 425*F (220*C).  Line the jelly roll pan with the Aluminum Foil.
Fourth: Using tongs, remove the Chicken from the plastic bag.  Leave a thick coating of the marinade on each leg.  Arrange the Chicken on the prepared pan.  Throw away the bag and the remaining marinade.
Fifth:  Bake until the Chicken is browned and cooked through, about 35 minutes.  Using pot holders, remove the pan from the oven.  Serve Hot.  

~Garnish~ After placing the Chicken on a serving plate, garnish with Chopped Fresh Cilantro, Lime wedges and small bowl of Raita.
* Makes 6 Servings*

A raita is a cold yogurt sauce that is often served with spicy Indian foods. 

Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
1 Cup Plain ( Unflavored ) Yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped Cucumber 
     ( or just get the seedless style Cucumbers and chop up ) 
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Cilantro
Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  

Additional Information:  Tandoori is an Indian style of cooking that uses a marinade made from yogurt, lime or lemon juice, and spices.  The yogurt and juice tenderize the meat as it cooks and also helps the spices cling to it.  The spices used in a tandoori-style cooking are mostly the same as those used in Indian curries.  

What is a Tandoor you might ask?  Tandoor -style dishes are cooked in a special oven called a tandoor.  Tandoors are often round like barrels with domed lids.  They are made from clay, which absorbs heat and doesn't burn, so the oven stays hot for a long time.  A fire is built in the bottom of the oven and the walls absorb the fire's heat.  The temperature inside can be as high as 800*F (427*C), but is usually around 500*F ( 260*C).  Food is put on long skewers and held just above the fire.  The oven is so hot that meat cooks very quickly and stays juicy as well as flavorful.  Breads like nann and root are also cooked in a tandoor.  Dough is rolled flat and slapped directly on the oven wall to bake.  Because of the intense heat, the dough sticks and cooks there.

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