Hello. Hi. Ok, here we go.
One unusual thing about me is that I am literally a cookbook addict. I recently acquired a new cookbook (many new cookbooks, really, but that's beside the point!), Under The Walnut Tree by Anna and Fanny Bergenstrom. I was delighted to see that there was a whole chapter devoted to cardamom. Mmmmmm..... cardamom. Anyway, I decided to make their recipe for tandoori chicken for me and my sister. The first issue I encoutered was that I couldn't find a small enough chicken... I don't know why they don't sell the 3-4 pound chickens that virtually every recipe seems to call for. It's a conspiracy, I'm sure of it. The recipe called for a chicken around 3 pounds I believe (who really knows, it was listed in kg ha) and I ended up with one that was 5 and change. So, I increased the marinade by some approximate amount- I was going for 1.5x but ended up being generous with some ingredients and by the end I forgot my math and started doubling things. Oh well. The books instructs us to mix the marinade in a bowl, add the chicken, and marinate for 3-4 hours or overnight. Instead, I mixed it in a ziplock, added the chicken, double bagged it, put the whole thing in a giant tupperware bought just for the occasion, and then took it on a nice relaxing rush hour train ride through town. Naturally.
The resulting chicken dinner was lovely, though next time I may add a bit more spice/spices in general... or perhaps try a recipe from one of my Indian specific cookbooks. You may already know, or if not you will surely learn, how obsessed I am with Anupy Singla. Some highlights from the overall experience was the joy in successfully breaking down a whole chicken (I have done it before, but this time was MUCH more successful), and grinding whole cardamom pods FRESH for the marinade. The freshly ground cardamom was truly incredible and changed the way I will think about cardamom forever. Seriously. That sounds incredibly overly dramatic but it's actually true. I never noticed the intense menthol aroma before... just amazing.
I served the chicken with a simple salad of cucumber, tomato, and red onion dressed with salt, lemon juice, and chili powder plus red pepper flake; also a simple raita I threw together, and na'an from the store. So yum!
The Recipe-of-sorts, adapted from:
1 5ish pound chicken, gracefully chopped, scissored and yanked into 10 pieces.
1 24oz container Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic gloves, smashed within an inch of their life
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 and a half heaped teaspoons kosher salt
around 2 generous tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 and a half-ish heaping teaspoons FRESHLY GROUND cardamom. Maybe a bit more. Just go ahead and put 2 teaspoons in why don't ya.
1 and a half generous teaspoons garam masala
4 teaspoons turmeric
1 heaping teaspoon chili powder (though if I make this again I would probably double it...)
Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock freezer bag inside another large ziplock feezer bag. I rolled the outside bag down a bit to protect it from raw chicken juice, then put both inside a large 14cup tupperware before I began. Once everything is in there, stir it up a bit with a spoon. You can also taste it at the point if ya like- BEFORE you put the raw chicken anywhere remotely near it, obviously. It tastes DELICIOUS so you should probably definitely lick that spoon. Add your chicken pieces- you will have to get your hand in there to get everything coated with marinade and get it all mixed up. Dip your entire body in bleach before you continue. I'm not squeemish unless it involves raw chicken juices SHUDDER. With clean hands, seal up both bags, pressing out as much air as possible. Smoosh the bags around a bit more to make sure everything is gettin all friendly and mixed up nicely in there. Plop it in your tupperware, seal it up good, take it on a long train ride. Or put it in the refrigerator or whatever.
After marination is complete.
Preheat oven to 400F. Oil a large baking pan, place the chicken on it skin side down, shaking off excess marinade as you go. Send the bag of used marinade to the toxic waste center. Roast chicken for 25 minutes, then turn the pieces over and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F. Spoon the cooking juices over the chicken a few times during roasting.
Serve wit na'an, salad, raita, or whatevs! It's your life.
Thanks for reading.