Serious Eats: Recipes

Barbara Kafka's Tandoori Chicken

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

The juiciest chicken I've ever had is tandoori-style. Something about the marinating process, with thicker, yogurt-based sauces, renders the chicken moister than ever. This recipe from Barbara Kafka's The Intolerant Gourmet (focused on gluten- and dairy-free recipes) uses no yogurt but coconut milk and lime juice instead.

Why I Picked This Recipe: In the mood for something spicy and grilled, I found that this recipe fit the bill. The technique of caramelizing onions and garlic with an intoxicating mixture of spices as the base of a marinade was too intriguing to pass up.

What Worked: As I'd hoped, the texture of the chicken was supremely tender; it's hard to say whether coconut milk has the same tenderizing power as yogurt, but the addition of lime juice probably helped. The chicken was deeply flavored and complex, belying the relatively simple preparation.

What Didn't: While the recipe was described as "mildly spicy," it was pretty hot indeed. Not exactly a criticism, but I'd watch the cayenne levels and tailor to your own taste.

Suggested Tweaks: There's no doubt that this recipe has a pretty long ingredient list of spices. A good curry powder--such as garam masala--would make a fine stand-in.

In preparing the recipe, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts; because they're thinner, it allows you to cut the marinating time way down and speeds up the cooking process. For a quick weeknight dinner, it's a good tweak.

Adapted from The Intolerant Gourmet.

About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer.

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