Grilled Tandoori Style Chicken and a Second to Naanwich (Tandoori Chicken Sandwich on Naan)
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (Don’t forget you can make your own!)
- 1/3 cup white wine or cider vinegar
- ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 3 Tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 Tablespoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 Tablespoon grated gingerroot)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch ground cinnamon
Add all of the ingredients except the chicken to a zip-top resealable bag (or whisk together in a flat baking dish.) Set aside. This is your marinade.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and lay out flat on a cutting board. Holding a large, sharp knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the down the length of the chicken breast, dividing it into two evenly thick pieces. This is easiest if you press your other hand down flat on the chicken breast to hold it steady. Transfer the chicken breasts to the zip-top bag that contains the marinade. Seal the top and squish the bag around gently to coat all the chicken evenly. Place the bag in a bowl to catch any leaks and stash in the refrigerator for at least two hours but preferably overnight prior to grilling.
When you’re ready to cook the meat you have a couple options. The best option is to grill. You can use a grill pan or hot oven if you don’t have a grill at your disposal.
Option A (Grilling):
For a gas grill, preheat the grill, with the cover down, to high. Oil the grill racks very well as the chicken has a tendency to stick. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shake off excess and place on grill racks. Cook, covered for four minutes, flip the chicken breasts and continue cooking, covered until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 160°F. Remove to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
For a charcoal grill, prepare a glowing bed of coals. Grill on well oiled racks over a two-zone grill starting on medium hot for four minutes, flip chicken to cook for another four minutes. Move chicken to cooler coals or cooler side of grill and continue cooking in the indirect heat until it measures 160°F.
Option B (Grill pan):
Place a heavy grill pan over high heat. Turn on your oven hood or a fan in a nearby window, this WILL get smoky. When the pan is hot enough that drops of water flung from your fingertips skitter before evaporating, the pan is ready. Oil it generously with a heat-safe brush. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Carefully lay the chicken out flat on the hot grill pan. Cook for 4 minutes, flip and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the breasts is 160°F or the juices run clear when you cut into the meat. Remove to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Option C (Hot oven):
Preheat oven to 425°F. Generously oil a cooling rack and place over a greased half sheet pan. Remove chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Position the chicken breasts on the rack with space between them. Place in a hot oven and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the pieces and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160°F, about 5-10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and tent loosely with foil for ten minutes before serving.
To Assemble the Sandwich:
Each sandwich needs:
- 2 small Naans, or two pieces of a larger naan
- 1 piece of Grilled Tandoori Style Chicken
- Mixed salad greens
- Candied Jalapenos or pickled jalapeno slices
- Crunchy Pickled Onion Rings or thin sweet onion slices
- Cucumber Yogurt Salsa
Lay out a Naan. Top with a handful of mixed salad greens and the piece of Grilled Tandoori Style Chicken. Arrange Candied Jalapenos and Crunchy Pickled Onion Rings over the chicken breast. Top with the Cucumber Yogurt Salsa and the remaining Naan. Slice in half to make it easier to eat. Now, if you feel so moved you can send me a love note but be forewarned; I’m happily taken.