Tandoori Chicken Thighs with Pickled-Vegetable Rice

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds 

1 tablespoon fennel seeds 

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds 

1 teaspoon black peppercorns 

2 cardamom pods 

1 cinnamon stick 

1 long dried red chile, de-stemmed

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons ground turmeric 

1 tablespoon paprika 

2 cups Greek-style yogurt 

One 1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated 

3 cloves garlic, grated 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces 

Pickled Vegetable Rice, for serving, recipe follows

Pickled Vegetable Rice:

1 cup basmati rice

1 curry leaf 

1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock 

2 cardamom pods 

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup giardiniera pickled vegetables, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon pickling liquid 


Special equipment:
a spice grinder; 15 to 20 skewers, soaked 30 minutes if wood or bamboo
  1. Place a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add the coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, peppercorns, cardamom and cinnamon. Toast, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly. Place in a spice grinder along with the dried chile and pulse to a powder-like consistency, then transfer to a bowl and add the turmeric and paprika. Transfer a few tablespoons to a large mixing bowl and save the rest of the spice mixture for another use.
  2. To the mixing bowl, add the yogurt, ginger, garlic, olive oil and some salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, add it to the yogurt mixture and let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  3. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the yogurt and thread it onto skewers. Place on the grill pan and let cook, turning once, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Place the Pickled Vegetable Rice in 4 small bowls. Serve with the chicken.

Pickled Vegetable Rice:

  1. Place a small to medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice, curry leaf, chicken stock and cardamom pods and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook according to the package instructions, 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the curry leaf and cardamom pods from the pot, then fluff the rice with a fork and set aside to keep warm. Stir in the pickled vegetables and their pickling liquid.