Note to self: Chicken tikka is a total classic when it comes to Pakistani BBQ food. It’s traditionally marinated over night in yogurt and spices and then grilled in a tandoor (clay oven). Since most of us don’t have a tandoor just laying around this recipe is adapted so it can be grilled or even baked in the oven! The grill will give it a beautiful red and charred color on top and infuse it with a deep smoky flavor. But if you’re like me and don’t happen to have space for a charcoal grill you can still bake it in the oven and then turn the broiler on to mimic the grilled look.
Important notes, the yogurt is essential to the marinade so don’t skip out on it! It really helps tenderize the chicken and infuse it with moisture so it doesn’t get dry. Another technique to help keep the chicken juicy and tender is to make slits in the raw chicken so the brine and marinade can infuse the chicken from the inside. The longer it’s in the marinade the deeper the flavor will be, so I suggest leaving it in the fridge overnight.
- 4 chicken thigh and leg pieces
- ⅛ cup vinegar
- ⅛ cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp salt
- Enough water to cover the chicken
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp minced garlic
- 1 packet of Foodjabi x Lazeez Asian Cuisine spice mix
- 20-25 drops red food coloring (optional)
- Take the chicken thigh and leg pieces and use a sharp knife to make 3-4 slits on the top and bottom. (This will help bring moisture to the inside of the chicken and help infuse the marinade)
- In a medium bowl place ⅛ cup vinegar, ⅛ cup lemon juice, 3 tbsp salt, 4 chicken thigh and leg pieces and fill to the top with water.
- Cover with Saran Wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
- In a large bowl whisk together ½ cup plain yogurt, ¼ cup canola oil, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, ½ tbsp minced garlic, 20-25 drops of red food coloring and 1 packet of Foodjabi x Lazeez Asian Cuisine spice mix.
- Add the chicken and coat well. Cover with Saran Wrap and place in fridge for 2-4 hours or preferably overnight.
- An hour before cooking remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Re-dip the chicken into the marinade and place it on a foiled lined baking sheet. (Lightly spray PAM to prevent sticking)
- Bake for 30-45 minutes and then in the last remaining minutes turn the oven on broil to let the tops get a little charred.
- Serve with a side of raita, or in accompaniment to biryani, or naan! Enjoy!