As some of you know – I have been trying to learn to use a ceramic tandoor. This evening’s experiment was with a recipe for honey and saffron infused chicken drumsticks. It is an extremely simple recipe but one that brings out the best flavor in chicken. I usually find that chicken is the US is mass-produced and as a result the taste is often compromised. To make up for the lack of taste I have taken to using complicated marinades or a lot of spices. But this recipe was simple and the chicken drumsticks actually tasted like good old chicken that I am used to eating in Asia!
1. 12-14 skinless chicken drumsticks
2. One large yellow lemon
3. 1.5 tablespoons of honey
4. One large onion or two medium onions
5. 2 teaspoons of paprika or Kashmiri Mirch (chili powder available in South-Asian stores)
6. Salt to taste (I add 2 teaspoons of low sodium salt)
7. One pinch of saffron (about 8-10 strands)
8. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1. Wash the chicken drumsticks under cold water and pat them completely dry with paper towels.
2. Using a sharp knife make slits in the flesh of the drumsticks (so that they get cooked thoroughly on the grill and no pink is left inside) and set them aside.
3. Peel the onion and coarsely chop it in a few pieces and then grind it in a blender to make a fine pulp.
7. Dip the chicken drumsticks into the marinade and rub it in thoroughly (so that the juices get into the slits in the flesh that you had made earlier).
8. When all the drumsticks are covered with the marinade, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken legs and refrigerate them for at least 6 hours.
10. Drain a little bit of the lemon juice and onion juice mixture out into a separate container and add the paprika powder or Kashmiri Mirch powder to it. Also add the olive oil and honey and whisk it thoroughly.
11. Pour this new marinade over the chicken legs again and coat all the legs with this fresh marinade completely.
12. Light up the charcoal in your grill. In my case I used the Homdoor tandoor but you can also use a regular charcoal grill. Personally I prefer the tandoor because the heat is evenly spread out and the inside of the chicken got cooked without burning the outside layer.
13. Using sharp metal-skewers skewer the drumsticks and place them in the tandoor or on the grate of the grill.
14. Cook till the outer layer of the chicken legs is brown and crispy.
15. Take the chickens legs off the skewers and serve them while they are still hot with a side of salad, flat bread and raita (I used Labneh and fresh mint leaf raita).