I started out this morning craving the flavors of India. Maybe I was still dreaming of a recent meal at Rasika in Washington, DC. From the house-candied ginger Champagne Cocktails to the English Peas and Cabbage with mustard seeds to the last fragrant bite of saffron panna cotta, my palate was alive and happy.
In my saffron-induced haze, I gathered spices from my cabinet–smoked paprika, turmeric, saffron salt, sesame seeds, cinnamon, etc.–and came up with the recipe below.
What’s your favorite summer chicken recipe or Indian restaurant, and why?
Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs & Legs
If you love thighs as much as I do, you'll enjoy Jim Harrison's essay Where Have All The Thighs Gone in one of my favorite books, THE RAW AND THE COOKED (see recommended reading on this blog).
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 serrano chili, stemmed
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (pimenton ahumado)
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- ½ tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 2 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 pounds chicken legs
- Purée first 11 ingredients in food processor or blender. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until blended. Add yogurt and lemon juice to processor and mix until just blended.
- Score thighs and legs with a sharp knife and place chicken in a large glass (or other non-reactive) bowl. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken; rubbing mixture into the meat. Cover and refrigerate minimum 1 hour or overnight.
- Prepare grill (medium heat). Place chicken on grill. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, turning every 10 minutes, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with fresh lemons and chopped fresh cilantro and mint, maybe a some toasted sesame seeds or nigella.
- Serve with grilled Naan and steamed Basmati rice.
Date Published: May 25, 2009
All recipes have been tested by the KimSunée.com Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.