Cast Iron Tandoori Roasted Chicken

Total Time:
3 hr 40 min
Prep:
25 min
Inactive:
2 hr 20 min
Cook:
55 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Marinade:
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (Indian spice blend)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, seeded
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into long pieces
  • Whole-Wheat Flatbread
  • Cucumber, Mint and Basil Raita, for serving, recipe follows
  • Cucumber, Mint and Basil Raita:
  • 16 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions
Marinade:

Make the marinade: Toast the coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garam masala, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cinnamon and warm through to make fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour everything into a spice grinder and process until fine. (Alternatively, crush the spices with a mortar and pestle.)

Place the guajillo chiles in a bowl, cover with hot water and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain the chiles and finely chop. Combine the spices with the chiles, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and salt in a in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.

Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken to a 1/2-inch thickness in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable freezer bag. Pour in the marinade and toss to coat well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight if you have the time.

Heat the charcoal in the charcoal chimney. To closely replicate a traditional tandoor clay oven cooking environment, set two large cast iron skillets (about 12 inches each) over high heat until hot, about 5 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Thread a skewer into each chicken piece so the chicken lies flat.

Very carefully remove the skillets from the heat and add a layer of charcoal to one of the skillets. Working in batches, place the skewers over the coals in the skillet so they rest on the rim and the chicken is above the coals. Carefully cover the chicken with the second pan, making sure the skewers don't slip. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is bright red and charred and blackened around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the skewers, place them on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Serve with warm flatbread and raita.

Cucumber, Mint and Basil Raita:

Combine the yogurt, cucumber, basil, mint, cilantro, agave syrup, cumin, garlic and salt in a food processor and pulse just enough to break down the cucumber and herbs slightly (the raita should still have texture). Do not overmix or the raita will become too runny.

Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to come together and for the riata to firm and settle.


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