Servings: 4 servings
2 Tbs ginger garlic paste
6 tablespoons full fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pappaya seeds, ground
3 tsp garam masala spice mix
2 Tbs oil
2 tsp grey salt
4 whole chicken thighs
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
2 tsp cayenne pepper, (or paprika for a milder taste)
2 Tbs unslated butter, melted
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 bunch fresh cilantro sprigs
Clean and skin the chicken of all fat. Make 3-4 deep diagonal incisions into the flesh of each piece using a sharp boning knife. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and paprika.
Pour off the excess whey of the yogurt using a cheese cloth for about 15 minutes. Add all ingredients of the marinade (ginger garlic paste, vinegar, papaya seeds, garam masala spice mix and oil) and mix together with the yogurt. Spread all the mixture over the chicken. Make sure all the marinade penetrates and coats the chicken. Don't forget to rub the marinade into the slits. Rub evenly. Plastic wrap the chicken and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the chicken 15 minutes before cooking to get it back to room temperature.
Place the chicken directly in a deep oiled saute pan over low heat, stir constantly until all the marinade becomes dry.
Transfer to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F until golden. The marinade should totally be absorbed. Brush chicken using a silicone basting brush. Cook for 2 more minutes.
Garnish with onion, lemon wedges, and cilantro. Accompany with raita and basmati rice.
Indian cuisine often calls for ginger garlic paste. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well. Just clean the ginger and remove any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife, then finely chop the root. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender, add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.
I would advise you to get a free range chicken if at all possible. I've tested this recipe with a "regular" chicken and it didn't turn out nearly as well.
I use French, Vietnamese and Indian (citrus, baking soda, papaya seeds) meat tenderizers to ensure a juicy product.
I usually extract seeds from a papaya, grind them in a mini food processor then place them in an ice-cube tray then freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes 3 by 3 into bags that I vacuum-seal and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn. I keep them exactly the same way I would do with my extra pesto.
At the end, if it's not golden brown enough, change setting to a low broil for 3 minutes. Then remove chicken from the oven.
The secret to well-cooked chicken is to pre-cookit on top of the stove.
You can either buy garam masala spice mix in any Indian store or make your own (click on the link to get the recipe) and store it in an airtight container.