Yoghurt spiced chicken by Paul Merrett

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Ingredients

Traditional Tandoori chicken is marinated in yoghurt and spices and then roasted in a tandoor, a type of cylindrical clay oven. A firm favourite in curry houses all around the world, it originated in the Indian subcontinent. Here's Paul Merrett's own version!

For the chicken and marinade

  • 4 RSPCA Assured labelled skinless chicken breasts
  • juice of half a Fairtrade lemon
  • 4-5cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
  • ½ tbsp mint, roughly chopped
  • 120g thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Fairtrade garam masala
  • ¼ tsp Fairtrade ground black pepper

For the salad and dressing

  • 4 plum tomatoes, cut in half and then each half diced into 6 pieces
  • 1 red onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 1 gem lettuce, halved and shredded
  • few stems of fresh coriander
  • 10 torn mint leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp shredded mint
  • 1 tbsp Fairtrade light olive oil
  • ½ tbsp of cider vinegar
Method

‟This spicy chicken has been a favourite of mine for a long time – my version of a tandoori chicken! The marinade does have a long list of ingredients, but the preparation is really simple. A hot pan is the perfect way to this, but it also works well on the barbecue. Great chicken deserves a great marinade – this is it! I reckon that with a grilled roti bread for each person, this is a pretty near perfect meal.”  Paul Merrett

  • Lie the chicken breasts on a chopping board – slash them 5 times crossways, about 4mm deep – to allow the marinade to really penetrate.
  • For the marinade, put the ginger, garlic, green chilli, coriander, mint and yoghurt into a blender, and liquidize until smooth.
  • Add all the other ingredients from the marinade list, then liquidize again briefly, to mix it all up – the marinade should be quite smooth.
  • Put the chicken breasts in a large bowl. Pour over the marinade and make sure the chicken is well coated. Marinate for at least one hour, but longer if you can.
  • To cook the chicken, heat a large non-stick, heavy frying pan. Add about a dessert spoon of vegetable oil. Blot any excess marinade and lay each breast in the pan.
  • Allow to cook hard and fast for about 2-3 minutes, before turning it over. It’s really important that it gets the full heat from the pan (or the barbecue) so if your pan is a little small then cook the chicken in batches.
  • Once the chicken has a really good dark colour, flip it over and finish it off on the ‘B’ side, until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile knock out the salad by mixing all the prepared veggie bits into a bowl and then dressing with the oil and vinegar.

Wine suggestion

  • Fairtrade Koopmanskloof Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2011

Recipe:  The Freedom Food Celebrity Recipe Collection

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