Indian food ranks high on my list of favorite cuisines, especially given that so many of the dishes (minus the bread) are naturally gluten free. My son and I often get our fix at one of the local lunch buffets, but my daughter declares Indian food universally “too spicy”.
Since many Indian dishes can be quite healthy as well as gluten free, I wanted to find a way to incorporate a few kid-friendly meals into my rotation at home. My daughter already loves chicken, so that seemed like a good starting place. The marinade comes together quickly–yogurt, garlic, ginger, and spices–but transforms ordinary chicken into something special. High-heat cooking seals the flavorful marinade right onto the chicken. I’ll assume most of you don’t have a clay tandoor that heats to 900° (no problem, neither do I), so we’ll go with the broiler instead. Broil the chicken about 6 inches from the heat source (you’ll likely need to lower the shelf from that top position) and turn the pieces midway through cooking. If the chicken darkens too much, either move the chicken farther from the heat source or finish the cooking in a 425° oven. Grilling is a great option as well.
One note about the appearance of this chicken: it’s not red. Restaurant tandoori chicken looks red because there’s often food coloring in the marinade. I’m a fan of natural cooking and, quite frankly, think the chicken looks quite delicious as-is with its burnished skin and moist meat. If you want to add food coloring or a powdered red “tandoori spice blend” that’s your call, but be sure they’re gluten free. The cooking times listed are for bone-in chicken pieces, which retain more flavor and moisture than boneless chicken. If you substitute boneless pieces, just cut down on the cooking time by a few minutes. Serve the chicken with a creamy yogurt sauce (raita), basmati rice, and a salad. Cheers! ~LbR