Tandoori Inspired Chicken with Spiced Saffron Rice and Roasted Asparagus

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Sometimes I get a wild hair and feel the need to really do something different. I get sick of Southern cooking or typical Meatloaf Monday fare and I really just want to branch out and experiment. It usually comes during a long week ( or month) when my stress level is high and I just want to get away. I think a week of potty training twins and trying to get ready for this craft show on top of all of my other wifely and motherly duties qualifies as a high stress level. So as I perused the pages of one of my many cookbooks, I came across a recipe for a Tandoori Style Chicken and I figured this was my chance for a little escape. I haven’t had any Indian food in years, since the hubby isn’t really a big Indian food eater. As a matter of fact, when we lived in Memphis I used to have one guy that I would go on Indian food dates with. We were just friends, but his girlfriend and my hubby weren’t into Indian food and you can’t go to an Indian buffet alone. So we would go once a month or so and get our fill of Tandoori chicken, coconut rice and Naan. {Sigh}

Any whoo, this meal is really good and kind of a splurge meal and perfect for those of you who are looking to use some of those spices in your spice cabinet.

I wouldn’t say that this is a “Tandoori ” chicken since I don’t have a Tandoori oven, but it’s still quite tasty. I probably would have stuck it under the broiler for a minute of two at the end of cooking to crisp it up a little more, but the kids were getting pretty hungry so I didn’t.

The Saffron Rice doesn’t really qualify as cheap since we are using saffron which is the most expensive spice in the world. It doesn’t take much to really add a lot of flavor.If you have a really deep spice cabinet like I do though I bet you’ve splurged on some. You could use Turmeric instead if you wanted, but it won’t be the same.

Cardamom is a super smoky spice that I love. I use it a lot in my chili recipes to add some depth. It comes in black or green, I’ve used black here. Crack the pods open and use the seeds inside.

I would like to say that if you want to really get a lot of life out of your spices,especially the ones you don’t use very often, buy them in the whole form. They will last so much longer. A simple grind in a mortar and pestle is all you need when you want to use them.
Okay, enough talk. Let’s get started.

Tandoori Inspired Chicken

2 limes
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 small onion chopped
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 T paprika
1 t. ground Cumin
1 t. ground coriander
3/4 t.salt
1/4 t. ground red pepper
pinch ground cloves
3 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces with skin removed

In blender combine; juice of limes and all other ingredients except chicken. Puree. Place chicken and yogurt marinade in a plastic bag and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450. Put chicken in a roasting pan, spoon half of marinade on top of chicken ( throw the rest away). Roast chicken until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

Spiced Saffron Rice

1 1/2 cups long grain rice
2 T vegetable oil
1 – 3″ cinnamon stick
7 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods
2 1/2 cups water
1 t. salt
1/4 t. saffron threads
2 T milk

Wash rice until water runs clear, Drain. In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat and add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cook for 30 seconds. Add rice and stir for one minute. Add 2 1/4 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small skillet or saucepan over low heat, heat saffron until it becomes brittle. Add milk and heat through. Remove from heat. Add to rice along with remaining 1/4 cup of water and cook for another 5 minutes. Let rice stand for a few minutes, then serve.

Roasted Asparagus
1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
sliced lemon
olive oil

Toss asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a jelly roll pan. top with lemon slices. Roast in a preheated oven until crisp tender.

Serve Chicken on top of rice with asparagus. Enjoy!!!

This Post Has 9 Comments
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  2. This looks fantastic. I love all the spices, and saffron it is one of my favorites. I have to try this one.. amazing dish!

  3. It looks like a wonderful meal! And saffron, you go girlfriend! I think the need to get away through branching out with your cooking is a good escape, kind of makes you feel like you’re eating somewhere else = )

  4. This recipe definitely pushes me outside of my familiar spice zone (a good thing). Thanks for the recipe, it looks delicious.

  5. You did a great job on the chicken. Tandoori is a hard mix to get right (so I’ve found).

    Have you ever had Cardamom french toast? I never would have thought to try Cardamom in FT but it’s outstanding if done right.

  6. Wow, this looks devine. Bravo on such a beautiful meal. I love Indian food and better yet if I can make it at home.


    J&J DISH

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Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.