Friday 3 July 2009

Tandoori Chicken

Every time we visit Cowie's parents is another excuse/opportunity to experiment with Cassius, our clay oven. It has excelled at cooking pizza and roast lamb so we thought we'd see how it coped with tandoori chicken.

We took inspiration from Madhur Jaffrey's recipe and just added more fire. The basic idea is to create a marinade from greek yoghurt, lime, garam masala, chilli, ginger, garlic and coriander. You blitz this together, add some salt and allow the marinade to tenderise the meat and penetrate the flesh with the Indian flavours. About 3 hours will do the trick, but over night is ever better.

Given that we were catering for 10 we needed 3 chickens so we had to par-cook the legs and wings in the aga and blasted the breasts in the Cassius when he was at full heat. We've not been able to measure the temperature yet, but it is way hotter than any oven I've ever used.

The breasts cooked in about 15-20 minutes. They emerged with a charred, spicy crust and dripping with moisture inside. It's a great technique. It wasn't a bad result given that it was our first attempt. Next time I'm going to add more chilli to the marinade and make some naans.

Tandoori Chicken in oven

Tandoori chicken legs

What shall we cook in Cassius next?


Manggy said...

I wonder if there's a tempered clay tube you can shove inside so you can slap naan and chicken on it like an actual tandoori? That would be so cool!

Anonymous said...

Great idea! We had partial success using our barbecue for tandoori chicken recently and are planning to try again this weekend. The charcoal adds great flavour, doesn't it?

Could you use Cassius for smoking? We've used our barbecue to smoke both salmon and chicken and it works well.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about this some more and I don't think smoking would work because you don't have a lid as such.

How about bread? I know you've obviously cooked pizza but loaves of bread would work well too.

I think a traditional Sunday roast could be great as well.

Browners said...

@Manggy - I think this is a great idea. It's been running through my mind for a while. Where would I get a tempered clay tube from though?

@Ginger - It's an interesting one. It is possible to add damp wood chips onto the embers to create smoke which then makes the food taste good... but I don't think this is smoking it... what could work is letting the oven cool down and then adding the chips and then smoking food. Otherwise it is so hot it just blasts things!

We are absolutely keen to cook some bread. We are going to start simply and then start to experiment! It's so much fun. How are your pizza oven plans coming along?

not greedy. just curious. said...

Hello, I think your oven looks great! I had been thinking about the one that Jamie Oliver has but they are pretty expensive and it seems a lot more satisfying making one of your own, well done, your woman. how about Prochetta next?

A Girl Has to Eat said...

Some fresh seafood might be nice - with that charcoal flavour.

Browners said...

@not greedy. just curious - porchetta is a great idea. It is very much on the cards. I can't wait to give it a go.

@A Girl Has to Eat - Seafood. Good idea. Monkfish could work well.


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