Easy Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori spice contains turmeric and ginger… both so healing!
Sometimes, I get a really strong craving for Indian food. But, it’s not often that I can get anyone I’m with to agree with me. For some unfortunate reason, I’m surrounded by people who think they dislike Indian food. I maintain that they have some wrong ideas about what good Indian food tastes like, but instead of arguing, I make this simple tandoori chicken along with whatever more strongly spiced food I feel like eating, and it’s a win-win.
This easy tandoori chicken recipe really is just that. It’s so easy. And, it’s perfect for anyone who thinks they don’t like Indian food. It has only the slightest hint of traditional spices and everyone likes it. Yes, even those who swear they hate this kind of food. A big thanks to Michelle at Nom Nom Paleo for creating the original recipe!
So, depending on who your audience is, you can call it whatever you like. I recommend something like: Really Good Roast Chicken, or Yogurt Marinated Chicken…
I suggest making a big batch of this chicken because the leftovers are awesome. Shred it up and top salads with it. Make sandwiches with it. Or, my personal favorite: Eat it straight out of the fridge with your hands…
When I was working at my first job ever in New York City, I used to take myself out to lunch to a dirty little place that I just thought was the greatest. I would sit at a stool at the counter and order curried chicken salad. This chicken, shredded up, with a little mayo, curry powder, and raisins or dried cranberries… OMG… it is soooooo good. Roll this in a collard leaf and now you’re talking….
And really, who doesn’t need an easy four-ingredient (five, if you count the salt) dinner recipe in their repertoire?
If you want to try another one of my chicken recipes, try my Sprouted Grain Chicken Cutlets.
There are only a few ingredients in this easy tandoori chicken, but they are good for you:
Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…
In eastern medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus.
Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels. This recipe uses fresh lemon juice.
Tandoori spice mixes usually include turmeric and ginger. Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric. Ginger is also a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).
- 8 chicken thighs (with bone and skin) (about 2-1/2 lb.)
- Sea salt
- 1 cup coconut yogurt (use full-fat)
- 1 Tbs Tandoori spice mix (here's one)
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- coconut or olive oil for greasing the rack
- Generously season the chicken with sea salt.
- In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, tandoori spice, and lemon juice.
- Stir until well combined.
- Add the chicken.
- Mush it all up with your hands so that the chicken is well coated.
- Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Heat your oven to 375°F convection setting, or 400°F regular bake setting.
- Cover a large baking tray with foil. Place a rack on top of the tray. Brush the rack with oil.
- Arrange the chicken on the rack, skin-side-down, making sure the pieces are not touching each other.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, then flip the chicken over and roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy and browned.