Makes 4 servings
Throughout India, cooking is done in tandoor ovens where the food cooks over direct intense heat; chicken cooked with this method is identified as tandoori chicken. Here's an adaptation of a traditional Indian yogurt marinade for chicken. The yogurt, a natural tenderizer, gives the chicken a velvety texture and calms down the chili powder; it also keeps the chicken from drying out as it broils. Serve Tandoori Chicken with basmati rice and Sweet and Sour Cucumber Slices (see recipe) for an Indian-style feast.
For the Tandoori Marinade
1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
For the chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each)
Canola oil or vegetable oil spray
Chopped scallions and sprigs of fresh cilantro, parsley or mint for garnish
Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
Pour half of the marinade into the bottom of a shallow glass baking dish or flat refrigerator container. Place the chicken breasts atop; cover with the remaining marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes or for as long as 24 hours.
When ready to cook, set the oven broiler rack 4 to 5 inches from the heating element; preheat the broiler.
Lightly oil a broiler pan or baking sheet. Place the chicken on the prepared pan; broil for 5 minutes. Turn and broil the second sides for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through at the thickest points; discard the remaining marinade.
To serve, transfer the chicken breasts to serving plates, garnish, and accompany with rice and Sweet and Sour Cucumber Slices.