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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Tandoori Chicken: Vaisakhi Recipe


Vaisakhi, celebrated throughout the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, carries different meaning for different sects. For the Sikh population, among other things, it marks the anniversary of the abolition of the caste system and the celebration that all people are equal. For the Hindis, it is the start of the New Year. For the Buddhists, it is the day Gautam Buddha reached Nirvana. For all who celebrate it, it is considered a time of harvest and celebration and marked with vibrant festivities.

This tandoori recipe is fabulous, even without a proper tandoor oven.

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (~2 1/2-pound) chicken, quartered

1. Purée first seven ingredients in a food processor. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until blended. Add yogurt and lemon juice to remaining mixture in processor and blend.

2. Place chicken in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1-4 hours.

3. Preheat grill to a medium-high temperature. Place chicken, skin side down, on grill. Cover and grill until chicken is cooked through, turning every 7-10 minutes, about 30 minutes total. (Alternately, bake in oven, tented with foil, at 350 for 45 minutes-1 hour, until meat is cooked through.)

4. Serve with basmati rice.

© 2012, Lauren Capitani. All rights reserved.

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Lauren Capitani was an early foodie. While her friends were busy watching Family Ties , she was tuned into Graham Kerr and Yan Can Cook, and served her friends and family dishes such as beef wellington and baked alaska while still a teen. After college, Lauren received Masters' degrees in both journalism and business and worked in both subsequent fields. At 29, she decided to rewrite her life and became an assistant teacher. For the first time, her vocation became her avocation. She now has certification in both both elementary and early childhood education and has taught at seven schools on both coasts (and in between). Lauren has lived summers in France, England, Spain, Japan, and Thailand, and has visited more than a dozen other countries. When her own children start limiting their food choices, Lauren turned it into a teaching moment and created One World Whisk, a global cooking initiative for children. The project garnered more than 200 followers before its one-month charter was complete.

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