Oh how I wished to be able to call this tandoori chicken, because I love tandoori chicken. I based it off a recipe that called it tandoori chicken. But it’s not. And since I’m a self-professed food jerk, I could not call it such. First, no tandoor was involved. Never could be. Who the f has a tandoor. Second, this chicken is marinated in coconut milk. Tandoori chicken demands yogurt. And boy do I love yogurt marinated…anything. But I’ve been craving something with coconut milk for a while. And actually, for better or worse, you can’t tell it was marinated in coconut milk. It just tasted like it was marinated in the most godly substance on earth. Seriously, it is so good.
So since this is kind of an interpretation recipe, or something, guess what – I used all ground spices. Gasp. I did not toast and grind whole spices. Generally if I make Indian food I feel absolutely compelled to do this. It’s like this OCD side of me. The same side that likes to make my own butter, my own fermented pickles, my own bacon, all that crap. But it was hot this weekend. And even though I bought new boots, fall isn’t here. It was bathing-suit-all-day weather. And ground spices sounded nice. This recipe, despite a ton of spices, is real easy. It was a perfect lazy weekend recipe. And you know what? I bet you could use some curry powder and garam masala and be pretty darn well off – but just know that this combo of spices is really damn good.
We’re going backpacking next weekend! Along with 90% of Colorado. Ugh. Labor Day. The traffic is going to be horrendous. I have zero tolerance for traffic. I get so anxious and angry. Like a case of claustrophobia. Knowing that there is NOTHING I can do drives me nuts. JUST GET ME HOME NOWWWWW. We’re either going to try to leave super early Monday, or perhaps I’ll suggest we just leave at 9pm. Hike more or explore a mountain town. God help me. I’ll never make it home. I’ll just have to become a resident of Silt. And when I’m an old lady living on the edge of town in a run-down, cat infested Victorian, the townsfolk will talk about how the bad traffic of Labor Day 2012 led to my derangement and that is how I came to be a resident of Silt.
coconut milk indian chicken
adapted from Barbara Kafka, serves 4
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 whole chicken, cut up into pieces
1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is real nice and soft and just starting to color, about twenty minutes.
2. Turn the heat back up to medium and add in the spices and salt. Stir around for several minutes until the spices are nice and fragrant.
3. Combine the onion mixture, coconut milk, and lime juice in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Adjust seasonings if you’d like.
4. Put the chicken pieces in a glass baking pan and coat evenly with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 425. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Remove excess marinade from each piece of chicken (saving it!!) and place on a baking sheet or in a baking pan. Bake for about 30 minutes – check for doneness at about 25 minutes. Depending on what size chicken you’re using or if you’re using all thighs or something, the time can vary.
6. Meanwhile, add the extra marinade to a small saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer the sauce for a good 10 minutes or so, so that you can use it to dip your chicken in/spoon in your mouth without dying.
Top the chicken with cilantro if you like, dip it in the sauce, serve it with some roasted eggplant and tomatoes or roasted cauliflower. Seriously, you will love this. Just maybe not everything that gets stained from the turmeric. Or your finger nails, which will smell of spices and garlic for a day.