All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Roast Chicken With Yoghurt Masala
(Tandoori Murg)
What You Need:            (To Serve: 6 to 8)
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  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 chickens, 2 to 3 pounds each
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, scraped and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unflavored yoghurt
  • teaspoon red food coloring
  • teaspoon ground hot red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • Salat

  • How To Cook:
    1. Drop the saffron threads into a small bowl or cup, pour in the boiling water, and soak for 5 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, pat the chickens completely dry inside and out with paper towels and truss the birds securely. With a small, sharp knife cut 2 slits about inch deep and 1 inch long in both thighs and breasts of each bird. Mix the lemon juice with the salt and rub them over the chickens, pressing the mixture deeply into the slits.

    3. Place the chickens in a large, deep casserole, pour the saffron and its soaking water over them, and let them marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the coriander and cumin seeds into a small ungreased skillet and, shaking the pan constantly, toast them over moderate heat for a minute or so.

    4. Then drop the seeds into the jar of an electric blender, add the ginger, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt, and blend at high speed until the mixture is reduced to a smooth paste. With a rubber spatula, scrape the paste into a mixing bowl.

    5. Stir in all of the remaining yoghurt, the food coloring and the hot red pepper. Spread the yoghurt masala evenly over the chickens, cover the casserole with a lid or foil, and marinate for 12 hours or overnight at room temperature, or for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator.

    6. Preheat the oven to 400. Arrange the chickens side by side on a rack in a shallow roasting pan large enough to hold them comfortably. Pour any liquid that has accumulated in the casserole over the chickens and coat each one with 1 tablespoon of the ghee.

    7. Roast uncovered in the middle of the oven for 15minutes, then reduce the heat to 350, and continue roasting the birds undisturbed for 1hour more. To test each chicken for doneness, pierce the thigh with the point of a small, sharp knife.

    8. The juice that runs out should be pale yellow; if it is still tinged with pink, roast the chicken for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the birds from the oven, cut away the trussing strings, and let the chickens rest for 5 minutes or so for easier carving.

    9. Just before serving, cut each chicken into 6 or 8 serving pieces and arrange them attractively on top of a platter of salat or place the whole birds in the center of a large heated platter and garnish the rim with the salat ingredients.

    1. In India, tandoori murg is roasted in a special clay oven over hot coals. You can get a somewhat similar smoky flavor by roasting the birds in a hooded charcoal grill equipped with a rotating spit.

    2. Prepare and marinate the chickens without trussing them. About 2 hours before you plan to serve the tandoorimurg, light a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of coals in the grill, cover it with the hood, and let the charcoal burn until white ash appears on the surface. This may take as long as an hour.

    3. One at a time, remove the chickens from the marinade and string them lengthwise end to end on the spit. (The birds will be wet and slippery, so it is a good idea to do this in the kitchen over a counter or table.) Anchor the chickens in place on the spit with the sliding prongs.

    4. Then tie the drumsticks and wings snugly against the bodies of the birds with short lengths of wire, twisting the ends of the wire tightly to hold them securely. Fit the spit into place above the coals and plug it in. Baste the chickens with the ghee, cover the grill with the hood, and roast for about 1 hour.

    5. Baste the roasting birds 3 or 4 times with a tablespoon or so of the remaining marinade, but do not use the liquid lavishly; it may cause the coals to flame up and burn the chickens. To test for doneness, pierce a thigh with the point of a small knife; the juice that runs out should be pale yellow.

    6. To serve, remove the spit from the grill, unscrew the prongs, and slide the chickens onto a platter. Untwist or cut off the wires. Cut the birds into pieces and serve them on top of a platter of salat, or place the chickens in the center of a large platter and garnish the rim with the salat ingredients.

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