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What am I doing wrong?


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All the threads for kababs, grilling season in full flow, brings me memories of a disaster that happened a little while ago...

I had some costco bought chicken thighs - rinsed them under water - marinated them in yogurt, kasuri methi, garam masala, salt, turmeric, red chili powder... and then kept them in a 350 degree oven to bake. I had shaken much of the marinate out but some remained for flavor...

From what I had heard from a friend, it was supposed to get all red and about 10-15 minutes later - I was supposed to baste it with oil to get a nice outer layer...

Alas, there was somehting that went out of control and it looked like this...


At one point, i had to literally drain the water away to get the chicken cooked. Flavor was ok but watered down, and experience was disaster.

I don't own a grill and want my second experience in oven to be a better success than the one above.

Please help...

(PS: I can hold my own in stir frying however grilling - i m not good @... Also a converted vegetarian here - so feel free to add your other tips as well)

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I would turn the oven up to 375 (at least) and bake the chicken on either a broiler pan or on a rack that's been put on your jelly roll pan. You need to raise the chicken out of it's own juices to get a nice crust. Still look good, tho. :smile:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?


Twin Peaks

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I would turn the oven up to 375 (at least) and bake the chicken on either a broiler pan or on a rack that's been put on your jelly roll pan. You need to raise the chicken out of it's own juices to get a nice crust. Still look good, tho.  :smile:

petite tête de chou's advice is spot on.

Additionally use drained thick yoghurt.

Restaurants use red colour powders. If you really want that colour I would advocate adding some carrot puree.

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja


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two possibilities (maybe three :rolleyes: )

1: that word costco, not known in UK but I'm thinking 'cheap'?. Some cheap chicken breasts are pumped full of water/protein, and the protein isn't necessarily chicken!!! :huh::blink:

2: did you use full fat yoghurt and marinade for about 24 hours? If not, could be the reason.

Try placing the chicken on a wire mesh covered in Al foil, then cut holes in the foil to let the excess water drip through to a tray beneath, and increase the temperature of the oven to very hot.

BTW, the red colour on tandoori chicken comes from the added dye, so no dye, no colour. Another tip, keep breasts whole, and if wanted bite-sized, carve afterwards.




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Hazard my 2 paise:

marinated US commercial broiler chicken thighs, 400 degrees, would take about 35-40 minutes in my oven to develop a dry char, middle level--- would be releasing their fat then. At that point you could add back the marinade and get a creamy, thick, tasty , not- too- nice-looking, layer after some more minutes in the oven. Nice tangy stuff to sop with tandoori bread. Please consider using an oven thermometer, as well.

Or, turn on the under-oven broiler [in a older gas model], or electric broiler, slide in a cast iron skillet, and let it get really hot.

[You will have removed the chicken before this, having cooked it about 30-40 min or according to your judgment; along with the drained or thick Greek yogurt suggested by Episure, you might consider a tiny amount of mochiko rice flor as well-great preventer of seepage]

Brush your chicken with butter in which you have crumbled kasuri methi, and broil judiciously for char. Sprinkle with chat masala or not according to your taste, or with lemon/ lime juice, a few slivers of fresh Thai type green chilies for aroma and a touch of heat, red onion rings etc.

I hate to say this, but a pinch of MSG in the marinade of commercial broilers works wonders; not needed when better quality chicken is used. Also it might help intensify the taste to have some type of 'cumin' [shahzeera or ordinary] and some 'cardamom' [black or green], in your marinade. Just a thought.


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Thanks for the replies!

some clarifications:

* costco - its a chain store where customers are *coerced* to buy in bulk to save

* color - i m not a big fan of food coloring, what I was trying to bring to attention was the amount of water that drained from the chicken

* flavor was what I was after!

* marinating time was nearly 6-8 hrs and I had cut deep cuts in the chicken thighs (on recipe recommendation to get deep flavor)

* yogurt was home-made full fat - not drained

* searing - haven't had luck - may be I dont have patience - coz many a time, when i m searing - i end up stir frying or get all those juices and it boils...

i m not aware of the jelly roll pan, but I assume from the posts that i have read - I am assuming that there's going to be water! and that I will have to do something to get the juices away from the chicken.

also - i will try to work something with a drip pan underneath or something to collect the juices in - and also i will try basting with the marinate after the 30-40 minute as it was suggested

will try to post a picture if i remember

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Here are my observations based on lots of Indian tandoor chicken attempts:

Get your oven SPANKING hot, set it as high as it will go (500F) with the broiler element on. It will splatter your oven, it won't be pretty but it will work and taste fantastic.

Preheat it for 30 mins - 1 hour. Put the chicken on a wire rack (cake rack) suspended above a baking dish lined with foil (so the burnt bits don't stick to your baking dish). Put the chicken in under the broiler and cook it until the top has started to turn black at the edges and is nice and crispy and coloured. Then turn it and repeat on the other side. By the time the second side is nice and coloured and crispy, it should be ready to remove from the oven and cover with foil to let it finish cooking through (let it rest for 10 minutes). All up it should be in the oven for maybe 10-15 minutes for chicken thighs.

Other pointers:

* Use oil or ghee in the marinade

* Serve with wedges of lemon

* DON'T use lowfat yogurt

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  • 1 month later...

my oven has changed and I did try with one of a pre-marinated chicken from a corner grocery store - came out so fantastic that I finished it before remembering pictures

I will get it again this weekend and post some pics.

Then I will try my own to see if the results are similar....

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