I made a deal with myself about food blogging. It goes like this: I will not blog everything I make just because I can and I will not recommend anything I create based on the sole reason that I made it. A blogger code of ethics if you will. This deal means that the recipes I write about will hopefully come from real recommendation, not just so that I can provide filler content to keep my blog a truckin’. I’ll be honest, it gets hard sometimes when I’m not posting like a mad woman. I feel a like I’m neglecting something, or dare I say, a bad blogger? Good thing I try not to take this food blogging so seriously these days.
This does mean that the everyday dishes aren’t often written about simply because they turn out as good things to eat, either fast or meditative in preparation, just another part of my daily life. But when a regular everyday recipe sticks with me, making rounds week in and week out, I start jotting down the adjustments and notes in my low-tech mole skin notebook, knowing then that I feel inspired to write. Tandoori style chicken drumsticks are exactly that kind of everyday recipe turned noteworthy by the perfection of repetition. The recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen recipe. I’ve made DIY versions of tandoori style chicken with a free-styled yogurt marinade many times before. Yet what struck me as genius about this recipe was the instruction to only add the yogurt prior to cooking, cutting down time, but keeping the flavor intact. This small step improved the tang and juiciness of the chicken. The technique of browning the chicken parts under broiler for the last bit of cooking added that much needed char reminiscent of real tandoori cooked chicken.
These moist and deeply flavored tandoori-style chicken drumsticks were simply spot on, a new recipe to keep trying. So far I’ve used adjustments for both a whole chicken, deboned and cut into parts, as well as for whatever chicken parts I might have on hand. Since I’m still (slowly but surely) knocking off recipes in my pursuit of cooking all 102 Mark Bittman Essential recipes from How to Cook Everything in my personal challenge, I’m calling this a check for roasted chicken parts in olive oil or butter since it’s essentially the same idea.
To compliment the indian-inspired dish I adapted another Bittman recipe. I made a simple spinach in yogurt based off of Bittman’s Cold Cooked Greens, Greek Style. It’s a perfect no-fuss greens recipe for the late summer since it can be served warm of cool. This dish also adds the right layering for tandoori chicken and basmati rice on your plate. The pairing was perfect.
Tandoori Style Chicken Drumsticks
from America’s Test Kitchen
2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 cup of plain yogurt
1 red onion, cut into wedges
3 to 4 pounds chicken parts
2 teaspoons of salt
1. Heat the canola oil over medium in skillet. Add garlic/ginger saute until lightly brown, about 1 minute until fragrant. Add cumin, chilli powder, and garam masala. Stir spices for 30 seconds, remove from heat and split spice mixture into 2 bowls.
2. Combine half of lemon and lime juice in one bowl of the spice mixture and add 2 teaspoons of salt. In the other bowl add the yogurt to the spice mixture plus the other half of lemon/lime juice.
3. Score the chicken. Rub the first mixture— lemon/lime, spice, and salt—into the chicken. Let marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
4. Heat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the spice rubbed chicken and red onion chinks with the yogur/spice mixture. Arrange on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until the internal temp is around 125 (not fully cooked that is).
5. Remove the baking sheet, heat the broiler, and brown chicken for 8 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temp is 165.
Cooked Greens with Yogurt
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
1 pound of spinach
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil water and cook the greens for just a few minutes. Drain.
2. Chop the greens on a cutting board.
3. In a bowl combine the chopped + cooked greens, the olive oil, lemon juice, plain yogurt, and salt/pepper. Taste and adjust.
4. Can be served warmed up again (in a skillet), at room temperature, or cold.