This is a recent recipe we made last Sunday. The easiest way to cook Indian dishes is to read through the recipe and group spices that get added together in little bowls. Have everything chopped and ready before you start. The smells are amazing when you make the spice mix. I marinate and make the spice mix in the morning (takes about 30 minutes). Then once the chicken is in the oven, you are free for another 1.5 hours so it is a great Saturday, Sunday thing to make.
**Updated to comment on a question I received about leaving the skn on the chicken.
There are a couple of reasons for removing the skin in this recipe;
When the chicken soaks in the yoghurt you want it in contact with as much of the meat as possible so it can do its job of tenderizing. Acids, like yoghurt, help to break down protein strands that can make some meats tough. There are several arguments out there that unless you do this tenderizing at room temperature the effects are negated. I consulted both Shirley Corriher and Harold McGee's books and neither of them mentioned this in their discussions.
Then when you do the spice paste all oer the chicken, again, the point is as much contact with meat as possible for flavour.
Of course you could take the time to very carefully separate the skin from the chicken with your hand and rubbing everything in there, but I think that the biggest argument for removing the skin is that the whole thing is cooked tightly wrapped in aluminum foil. This method is going to keep the moisture locked in to keep the chicken juicy. Unfortunately this would also mean flabby chicken skin and not the nice crisp bits that we all like.
You could argue that in the end of the cooking time you could remove the foil and crisp the skin up, but I think that would take far too long and you would risk overcooking the breast in your quest to get yummy crispy chicken skin.
I'd say this time, in this recipe, try it without the skin, I honestly don't think you'll miss it.
Time: Start this 2 - 3 hours before it goes in the oven so it can soak in the marinade. Cooking time for chicken is 1.5 hours.
Source: Madhur Jaffrey's: Indian Cooking
For the marinade:
2.5 cm (1 inch) cube of fresh ginger, peeled and coursely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled (I smash them with the side of a knife to peel)
6 Tbs. yoghurt (Plain. If you can find it, yoghurt made with sheep's milk or Greek yoghurt tastes best)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 and 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper
You will also need:
One 1.5 kg (3.5 lb) chicken
8 oz (225g) onions
4 cloves garlic peeled
4 cm (1.5 inch) cube fresh ginger,peeled and coursely chopped.
25g(1oz) blanched, slivered almonds
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
.5 tsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbs. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1.5 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. veg oil (I used half that amount and I use canola)
2 Tbs lemon juice
.5 tsp. coursely ground black pepper
.5 tsp. garam masala (recipe to follow in another post)
Make the marinade:
Put the ginger,garlic and 3 Tbs of yoghurt into either food processor or blender. Blend, until you have a paste.
Add the turmeric, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Blend for a second to mix. Empty into a bowl. (Do not wash out the food processor or blender yet) Add the remaining 3 Tbs. of the yoghurt to the marinade and mix in.
Skin the entire chicken with the exception of the wing tips. Skin the neck. (if you wish to add it)
Put the chicken breast up, in a large bowl or on a platter and put the giblets and neck near it. Rub the chicken, inside and out with the marinade. Set aside unrefrigerated for 2 hours. *
*Here I just did this in the morning, put it in the fridge for 4 - 5 hours and then took it out about an hour before it was to go in the oven. Naturally you probably would not do this in the summer. Just marinate longer in the fridge.
Once that is done make the spice paste:
Put the onions, garlic, ginger and almonds in the blender or processor. Blend, pushing down with a spatula occasionaly until you have a paste. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne and salt. Blend again.
Put the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the paste. Fry stirring for 8 - 9 minutes. Add the lemon juice, black pepper and garam masala. mix. Turn off the heat and let this cool.
Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.
Spread out a large sheet of aluminium foil, large enough to enclose the chicken. Put the chicken, breast up, in the centre of the foil and put the giblets near it. Rub the chicken inside and out with the fried spice mix. Bring the ends of the foil towards the centre to form a tight packet. All the 'seams' should be 5 cm (2 inches) above the floor of the packet. This way any juices it creates stay in the bottom of the foil when you open it.
Put this whole thing in a baking tray and bake for 1.5 hours or until chicken is tender.