Today we are going to look at a way to make chicken with Tandoori style seasoning using the clay baker. With a simple technique this method allows you to mimic the char that is produced when the chicken is made more traditionally in a clay Tandoor oven.
We used around 2 pounds of drumsticks in this case, though this method also works well for skin-on, bone-in thighs, full legs or a combination of two or three of these.
The first thing to do is to prepare your seasoning blend.
2 tablespoons paprika
4 cloves of finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon of finely minced ginger
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
sea salt to taste
Thoroughly blend all the seasoning together.
Place your chicken pieces in a large bowl. Pour the juice of one lemon and drizzle around 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them. Sprinkle the seasoning blend on while tossing the pieces to evenly coat. Do not overcoat. If the pieces are evenly coated simply either discard or store any extra.
Add 1 cup of plain yogurt to the bowl and toss again until the chicken pieces are evenly coated as below.
Cover and let sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Just before cooking take out your clay baker and soak as usual for 20 minutes. (If you are not familiar with clay baking you can learn the basics at this post from a very old related blog).
Place your clay baker, covered, into a COLD oven (you must always place a clay baker into a cold oven), set to 425 degrees and cook for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes remove the top of the clay baker. Do this very carefully as it will be exceptionally hot.
Turn the oven up to 500 degrees and bake the chicken uncovered in the bottom half of the clay baker for another 15 - 20 minutes or until the chicken is slightly charred or charred to your liking. (If you have any doubts about doneness the chicken is done when it has been cooked to at least 165 degrees.)
Serve with rice. Enjoy.
(This recipe appeared on the original The Left Chapter blog in 2019)