Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chicken in yoghurt

Recipes for grilled, marinated meats generally tell you to scrape off the marinade before placing the meat on the barbecue or griddle. Discarding that flavoursome stuff seems a shame. That is why I prefer to cook dishes involving yoghurt marinades in the oven. You can simply bung the whole lot into a roasting dish.

The following recipe is one I cooked just for myself. Yes, it is very self-indulgent, in quantity and in heat. But I should point out that most chillis (unless they are Scotch Bonnets), even seeded ones, are not unbearable hot; and that my 10 free-range chicken wings cost just £1.70.

10 chicken wings
1 regular tub Greek yoghurt
1/2tsp coriander seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/3tsp black peppercorns
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2tsp turmeric
1/3tsp cayenne pepper
6 green chillis, stalks cut off, whizzed in a small vegetable mill, or chopped

Warm the coriander, cumin and pepper in a small saucepan (dry) over a gentle heat until they give off a toasted aroma. Grind them in a mortar. Add a little salt, and grind the garlic with them too. Tip the yoghurt into a bowl, and stir in the spice and garlic mixture with the other ingredients. Throw in the chicken wings, turning to coat them in the spicy yoghurt. It is worth doing this several hours in advance of cooking -- the spicy yoghurt does penetrate the meat.

I tipped my chicken into a roasting tin, which I put into a gas mark 6/200C oven for 30 minutes, by which time the yoghurt had become a kind of glaze. Bits of the marinade were catching, so I turned the oven right down, to gas mark S/130C, allowing another 20 minutes.

The chicken was wonderfully tender, and, as you may imagine, headily spicy.

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