baking · Chicken · Indian

Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

The real magic in the kitchen is when you make foods from different cultures. Sometimes you can’t make it exactly as authentic, but it still is a magical experience to go on.

That’s my thinking when I try to make Chinese, Vietnamese, and Jamaican foods. I love trying new things, and I love trying new foods. Indian food has a heavy influence on my life. By that, I mean I think about it almost every day. Dream of it.

Tikka masala. Naan. Paneer. Samosas. Mango custard.

I want it all. All. The. Time.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the $$$ to eat out at Indian restaurants all the time. Or order it from Postmates, which I’ve been known to do. That’s super expensive. Good thing about Indian food, though, is its sort of easy to recreate at home. As long as you’ve got all the spices you need, and usually a container of unflavored yogurt, you’ll be good to go.

I had purchased a huge package of chicken drumsticks at the grocery store (they were so cheap) and needed to do something with them. I threw together a recipe with stuff I had in the pantry for half the pack, but decided to go Indian with the other pack. Tandoori chicken it was.

Never had tandoori chicken? You need it in your life ASAP. Trust. You usually find it in wing form at American-Indian restaurants and it’s marinated in a yogurt & spice mix. It gets this deep red color because of the cayenne and red chili powder (or paprika), but I had to cheat and add a few dots of red food coloring to get my chicken restaurant-style red.

Tandoori comes from the Punjabi region of India, and is usually cooked in clay ovens specifically made for the food. I obviously don’t have a clay oven, so I had to adapt. I had just read in Food Network magazine that you can get the good char you’re seeking for Tandoori by broiling the chicken when it’s done, so I thought that would suffice.

I didn’t have any onions left so I couldn’t put that in the marinade, and I had to use lime juice instead of lemon, but all in all—these chicken drummies were the bomb. They were red, charred, and super spice-laden. They were flavorful but the spiciness wasn’t overpowering. I loved it!

Serve this little drummies with some dal and naan for a complete meal. Trader Joe’s is awesome and sells frozen naan that you can just plop on a sheet pan and bake to warm up. These chicken drumsticks would taste really good with a yogurt-style dip. Bust out of your normal-cooking bubble and travel to India in your kitchen!

Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Oven-baked and broiled chicken drumsticks in a spice & yogurt marinade.

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBS. lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. coriander poweder
  • 2 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • Few drops food coloring

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, garlic, lime juice, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper and red food cloring. Add chicken drumsticks and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top. Spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shake off marinade (reserve marinade) from chicken and place on prepared wire rack. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Brush chicken with marinade on both sides and return to oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Brush chicken again and return for 10 more minutes. During last 2 minutes. switch oven to broil and broil until skin is slightly charred.

Step-By-Step Instructions

In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, garlic, lime juice, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper and red food coloring.

Add chicken drumsticks and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top. Spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shake off marinade (reserve marinade) from chicken and place on prepared wire rack. Bake for 20 minutes.

Brush chicken with marinade on both sides and return to oven for 10 minutes. Brush chicken again and return for 10 more minutes. During last 2 minutes. switch oven to broil and broil until skin is slightly charred.

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