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Old 06-27-2006, 11:42 PM   #1
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Tandoori Chicken/Turkey

Hi all, I wanted to share my tandoori chicken with everyone. This a /real/ slow cooker, typically over charcoal, a grill (if you don't mind running it open for 6 hours) or in an oven if needed. Do remember that this is /not/ the traditional Tandoori recipe! Usually it is an clay oven, where the meat is suspended and the juices/sauce drip onto the coals. I decided to go nuts and do a slow simmer instead, and these are the results...

First things first, if you can get one, get a real Tandoori pot, though this is an effort and a half. Actually, I'll dispense with this version for now and come back to it when I can actually take photos to illustrate it.

Anyway, a good medium-neck sealed clay cooking pot will do, with lid if possible. Lacking this, a nice cast iron pot with lid also works.

Now, take a whole chicken or two (turkey or cornish game hens work too) and clean it out. You can quarter it or leave it whole, though I prefer whole, you just don't want it to stick to the bottom. Once they are cleaned, you can either skin them or not, though making some medium depth cuts in the meat can help.

Once that is done, get about 8tbsp or so of Tandoori powder, about 12 cloves crushed garlic (yes, I'm a garlic fiend), 1tsp paprika, 2 tsp crystallized ginger, dash of chili to taste, coriandr and nutmeg and mix it all. Then add about a gallon or so of yogurt. Yeah, I said a gallon and make sure it's whole yogurt.

Now, take the pot and fill it with the sauce and dunk the bird in it. Leave it for 18-24 hours or so. When done, make a medium charcoal fire or get your grill/oven to around 250. Once at this, put the pot on, covered and leave it, checking regularly until the meat is completely cooked through. It becomes inreasingly tender as you cook it. When it is done completely (check with a meat thermometer), take it out of the pot and either broil/bake it at really high temp or put it on the grill or oven to crisp, but only for a few minutes.

You'll end up with a crisped bird that is totally cooked and the meat will just fall right off of the bone. It's amazingly tender and really flavorful, complemented well by my coconut rice (over in the rice forum). The only caution is to be /very/ careful as you remove it from the pot.
Anyway, let me know what you think. I'll post a few pics of the process once I get a chance

As a side note, I have considered using one of those turkey fryers, just really turned down, to cook one of these...hmm, that might rock

I just found a really good site which sells some amazing Tandoor ovens: http://www.beechovens.com/index.php?pg=us

Also, here is a gentleman in my hometown who made a Tandoor oven:
http://www.cpsusa.com/ebay/tandoorOven.htm

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Old 06-28-2006, 10:48 AM   #2
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I love Tandoori chicken, but must admit that while I do make it outside on the charcoal grill (as well as in the oven during the winter), I use recipes from several of my Indian cookbooks that are quite a bit simpler than yours & turn out wonderfully (although I'm sure your results are positively delicious!!).

One question. What exactly is "Tandoori Powder"? All the recipes I've used combine several different spices, but even in my Indian cookbooks that are written by Indian authors, I've never seen a mention of "Tandoori Powder".
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:15 AM   #3
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Read This!
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:39 PM   #4
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Andy hit it on the nose, as I use Penzeys for the powder. It's true that this is a somewhat complex one, but it makes a mouth-watering chicken. However, I think I added an i onto Tandoor by mistake (I made the main post when I was a bit bleary).
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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Many, many, MANY thanks for that Andy!!! I was just about to place an order with Penzey's, which I haven't needed to do for awhile. For whatever reason I've just never noticed the Tandoori powder, although I do have their hot curry & Vindaloo powders.

Not that I really mind mixing the spices myself, but I'll definitely be ordering some of this to try it out!!!

Again - THANKS!!!
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:19 PM   #6
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You can also purchase tandoor's in Houston. There is a large Indian population there and there are stores (Indian appliances) where you can order various size tandoors.

I was contemplating this for my house but in the end decided it is not worth all the headaches (to fit it in) given the oven and grill seem to work for me.

If you like tandoori chicken and Vindaloo and other spicy preparations it's easy to take a trip to an Indian store (granted you have one close by) and pick up something there. They have pre packaged powders (Everest, Badshah, Shaan are some brands) that you can use.

I am so used to buying my spices from ethnic joints and for a fraction of a cost that I would never go to a place like Penzey's or other upscale online spice retailers. If you don't have an Indian grocer around you, you can order from ethnic grocer (ethnicgrocer.com) or other indian grocery sites that ship all over the US. I believe Patel Brothers (patelbrothersusa.com)do too.
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Old 06-28-2006, 04:30 PM   #7
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Yakuta -most of us DON'T have local access to an Indian store, & Penzey's products are quite satisfactory. I'm truly sorry that you find their products so unsatisfactory. I'm assuming you've tried them all?

I have been lucky enough to have been able to shop at a large local ethnic market, so don't often have to purchase things online, however not everyone has that option.
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