Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Tandoori Chicken


Low fat, quick to cook and the marinade does all the hard work for you! 
Don't let the fact that you don't have a Tandoor oven put you off, you can still make this delicious Indian offering in the comfort of your own home! 

Best part - its only 347 Calories and Syn Free on Slimming World! 

My inspiration for recipes can come from anywhere – I have a little notebook, that I write down ideas that might pop into my head whilst I am going about my day to day business.     I then sit down on a Saturday morning, and decide what I am going to make for the week, and which items are potentially blog worthy.    On some occasions if I am lucky I will get two good recipe ideas, and then on some days I need to do a lot more research and really refine what I want to make.

This was one of those recipes.

I got the idea that I wanted to make Tandoori Chicken, whilst trying to decide what I wanted to have from the local Indian on a treat day.    For those healthy eaters among you, you will know that it’s one of the most diet friendly dishes on  a menu – and for me personally I find it delicious.    The appeal of that juicy fire red chicken just gets my taste buds going!

I discovered that there are SO many recipes out there already for this delightful dish, that it took me a long time to research and really decide where I wanted to take it.   At one point, I was thinking of taking a cheats way out, and looked at buying some Tandoori Masala spice mix to throw in with some yoghurt and then Bob’s your uncle! But I was horrified at the amount of E numbers that were in the mixes, and one of them even had this as a warning: “Also contains colours which may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”.     That was that, back on the trail to create my very own recipe, which didn’t contain any nasties or would cause any issues to my potential dinner guests!

One of the things I struggled with was trying to figure out how to make the chicken that familiar fiery red colour.   Turns out it’s not that easy, some recipes suggest you use red food colouring – which again I thought was a bit OTT – in the end I decided to try something I read in another recipe, using paprika and lemon juice – and if the flavours were there, then I didn’t mind it not having that glow.

I was so happy the way this turned out,  it tasted delicious, was still juicy and had that little bit of a kick – and I literally did a happy dance around the kitchen after the first bite!

Calories: 347  •  Slimming World:  Syn Free

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Marinading Time: 30 mins - 24 Hours
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 4 

You will need:

8  Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs (if you are using bone in thighs cooking time will be slightly longer)
1 Lemon
3tsp Paprika (you can use hot paprika for a little kick)
250g Fat Free Yoghurt (I used 0% Greek Yoghurt)
Piece of Ginger about half the size of your thumb – Grated
2 Garlic Gloves Minced
½ Tsp Cumin
½ Tsp Garam Masala
½ Tsp Chilli Powder
½ Tsp Ground Coriander
¼ Tsp Turmeric
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Calorie Controlled Oil Spray

Method:

In a large plastic food bag or shallow dish, squeeze the juice of the lemon and mix with the paprika – place the chicken and cover in the mixture and set aside

Mix the yoghurt and all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken – close the bag or cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinade for at least half an hour, if you have time overnight is best.

The cooking of the chicken can be done in two ways:

Heat a griddle pan and spray with a little oil – cook the chicken on what would have been the skin side down first for about 3 minutes so that the yoghurt cooks and forms a crust turn, and do the same on the other side.  

Keep cooking and turning until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear,  you will get lovely charred marks from the marinade and the grill pan

Or:

Heat the grill on your oven, put the chicken on a grill rack on top of a baking tray and cook for 7-9 minutes on each side until the marinade is starting to char and the chicken is cooked through

Perfect with a big dollop of yoghurt and some spiced potatoes


This dish keeps really well, so you can make it all in a batch and do what I did and have for lunch the next day! 
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