The most important thing to say about this Tandoori Chicken recipe - and so this is why I'm saying it now, right at the start - is that, red food colouring or no red food colouring, the flavour is absolutely to-die-for.
Thank you, that is all.
Or - not quite all. *chuckle* Well, you wouldn't expect me not to rabbit on a bit about such a terrific recipe, now would you?
The thing is, that I've tried a number of recipes for oven-baked Tandoori Chicken and everything prior to this has left me with egg on my face, wishing I'd not have bothered.
What led me to have enough faith in this recipe to try it, was a) it came from www.greatcurryrecipes.net - or "Indian Food Recipes - made easy" which is a website written by @TheCurryGuy, Dan Toombs, and b) I've tried several of Dan's recipes - all of which have been brilliant.
I was determined, since I discovered that our butcher is now selling chicken legs as well as breast meat, that I would have a chicken leg - as I felt sure that the flavour would be greater and anyway, I prefer leg meat. Son & heir likes the flavour of leg meat, but likes the sheer quantity of meat you get from the breast. Hubby is a confirmed chicken breast devotee, as he hates any hint of fat on his meat. So, as you can see, there was a very differing set of requirements here!
However, I bought two legs and two breasts of chicken - and we divided them up amongst us. The legs I jointed into thighs and drumsticks on the reckoning that it would be far easier to handle that way around - and Tandoori Chicken was made to be eaten without knives and forks.
I will admit to going about the recipe all the wrong way - owing largely to an over keenness to get the chicken marinading. I was so worried that I'd forget to marinade it!
I should have let the chicken sit in salt, food colouring and lemon juice before covering with the marinade, but in fact, I just included the salt and lemon juice in the marinade and let them sit in the lot. I doubt this made a great deal of difference to the flavour, but it certainly made a difference to the colour, as all traces of food colouring were washed away by the yoghurt. Still, it didn't make any difference at all to the flavours, which were just out of this world.
The oven roasting took a wee bit longer than I had anticipated - probably because my chicken pieces were massive - but it was worth giving it that extra 10 minutes to allow a little charring to appear. Under the marinade, the chicken was softly moist and delicious while the marinade made us gasp a tiny bit from the chilli heat - oh boy, but it was good.
Everyone - son & heir included - completely loved this recipe. The chilli aspect is something that is within your own control, in that if you aren't good with hot spicy food, then just don't use as many chillis. So there's no need to not enjoy such a cracking recipe - just tone it down to your own taste.
I haven't reproduced the recipe here, as I followed it pretty much as it was written. Do go to this link and see whether you fancy having a go at it - it honestly, couldn't be much easier - and the results are completely fabulous.
I served my Tandoori Chicken with some Saffron Rice and a little salad of red onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and coriander that had been dressed with a little lemon juice.
This was my recipe of the week - and I thoroughly recommend it to you!