Family vacations filled with bonding moments, spent exploring the food and culture of a city and its people, freshen ones perspective and opens the mind to new possibilities.
Like we did on our family trip to Spain; while exploring a new place, it’s a good idea to check out the many inexpensive holiday packages easily available, which help make your far-fetched dream vacation a reality.
And as I often say, the best way to explore a new country is through its cuisine…
Today’s Chicken Tikka recipe, crafted by in-house grill master (and my husband) brings India right to your table.
Giving a whole new twist to these popular juicy bites of char grilled chicken, we’ve created a marinade of classic Tikka ingredients like yogurt, ginger and garlic with a burst of fresh flavors from green tarragon, earthy black pepper and tangy lemon.
A year round entree or versatile appetizer, Black Pepper Lemon and Tarragon Chicken Tikka is best served with Indian bread like Homemade Garlic and Thyme Naan.
Add this Chicken Tikka recipe to your family meal anytime you feel like a trip to India.
- 1 lb. chicken thighs; cut in 2 inches pieces
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plain thick yogurt
- 1½ tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste (3-4 cloves garlic & 1 inch ginger, grated)
- 2 small Thai green chili or 1 Serrano pepper, cut lengthwise in strips
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with lemon juice, salt and yogurt. Leave aside while you prepare the warm oil infusion.
- Heat canola oil on a medium low flame and add cracked black pepper, ginger and garlic, green chili pepper and chopped fresh tarragon. Stir for about 30 seconds. When you smell the delightful aroma of the spices and herbs, turn off the flame and add ground turmeric.
- Stir this warm aromatic oil infusion into the chicken, making sure to coat all the chicken pieces with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours.
- Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to 450F and grease the grates well (if you’ve got a kebab stand for the grill, this is the time to use it.)
- Skewer the meat on well-oiled metal or pre-soaked wooden skewers; space the chicken pieces out, don’t let them stick together.
- Cook the chicken tikka for 10-12 minutes turning once; the best way to know if the chicken is done is when the pieces get a char on the outside and a plump juicy look.
- Two great alternative cooking methods for Black Pepper Lemon and Tarragon Chicken Tikka are on a stovetop griddle pan or in a convection oven.
- On the stove-top, heat a well-oiled griddle pan and cook the tikka on all sides to get a uniform char.
- In a convection oven, preheated to 425F, cook the chicken tikka for 15-18 minutes on a baking sheet with a metal rack (the chicken gets soggy if placed directly on a sheet pan,) roasting them evenly on all side.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the Black Pepper Lemon and Tarragon Chicken Tikka while they are still hot, cover and let them stand for 5 minutes, so the chicken retains its juices.
- Serve hot as an appetizer with your favorite chutney, or as a light meal with a side of steaming hot lentils Daal and Indian bread like Naan or Paratha.
This recipe is also part of my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ which offers Indian Inspired recipes for your occasions, holidays and entertaining. Click This Link for Details.
Using old Indian entertaining wisdom and today’s modern approach to food from a global perspective, my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ offers an easy to prepare collection of mouthwatering recipes that can be used for any occasion from intimate family and friends dinners, to hosting larger holiday celebrations.
As always, my dishes are inspired by India’s varied and flavorful smorgasbord of regional cuisines and made with everyday fresh ingredients, basic spices and simple step-wise directions.
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