Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken

DSCF7151 (640x492) (2)There are just days that I look forward to eating curry and naan. It’s the same craving I search when I feel like eating either Chinese Dimsum or Japanese Sushi after a very long day at work. Both food sometimes,  feels like appetizers and by the time I reach home, hunger strikes the second time. The end of May seem to be a ‘curry’ week and I’ve gone and  visited my favourite Indian restaurants about four times now for the last two weeks.  It has been a very busy couple of weeks and I really never had a chance to cook for myself, although I already had some beef and pork cuts marinating in my fridge.  All were on sale at my grocery and bought them for the same reason. Unfortunately, I’ve never really had an opportunity to savour their discounted prices having had a busy week soon after shopping

I was really apprehensive about eating Indian food when I was in my teens. I ate at Kohinoor on Pasay Road when it was still there and served buffet style ‘authentic’ Indian food. I also had a chance to try Kashmir, but as a fine dining restaurant, menu prices were quite oppressive to the point of damaging for someone just starting a career. I had a chance to eat once or twice and that was about it. Kohinoor closed its doors when I left and I really do not know what fate had landed to Kashmir.  After that short episode, I discovered ‘Little Bombay’ restaurant late in the ’90s hidden under a run-down building on the intersection of Ayala and Makati Avenues. It was a gem, hole-in-wall, cafeteria style, no-fuss restaurant that served the type of Indian food I was searching. It stayed at that location for a long time up until it grew and expanded and, by that time, I already had left the Philippines.  The owner even recognized me the last time I dropped by. I became a regular. Menu prices were appropriate for the regular office paid employee.

Tandoori Chicken or those that go into the tandoor oven are very expensive in Indian restaurants in comparison to Chicken, Beef and Lamb curries.  This led me to cooking one.  Moreover, bone-in chicken breast were also on sale and having been struck by the love of Indian food lately, I ventured into the unknown helm of tandoori cooking. Of course, I don’t have one, but my antiquated apartment oven managed to concoct an even better version.  It’s the homemade tandoori paste combined with long marinating period made the chicken juicy inside and spicy outside.

Tandoori Paste:

  • Water
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Garam Masala
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Onion
  • Green Chilis
  • White Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Brown Sugar
  • Lime Juice
  • Achuete (as a colouring agent)

Combine everything in a blender and zap until smooth. Adjust seasonings and  pour over the chicken breast, cover and marinate for at least two days.

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Set the oven to medium-high heat and roast the breast until the skin caramelizes.

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