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Grilling Tips for Tandoori Chicken

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Am thinking of using my Weber kettle grill to cook a bunch of chicken thighs that I've had marinating since yesterday in yogurt, spices, and some line juice and salt. I'm assuming that I can achieve higher heat and better flavor that way.

I've cooked this recipe in the oven before (basically baked and then finishing with a brief broil). As I consider using the grill, are there any tips I should know about heat management, how much of the yogurt to leave on the thighs, etc? Thanks!

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  1. shake the thighs to remove most of the excess marinade before grilling - yogurt has a tendency to char very easily, and you don't want the exterior to burn up before the chicken is cooked through. plus, whenever working with *any* type of marinade, you risk flare-ups if it drips onto the coals, which isn't good for the flavor OR for your health.

    1. Don't wipe the marinade off but just swipe the pieces on the edge of the bowl before putting on the grill. Grill over medium heat -- you want some char but you don't want the whole thing to crisp up and blacken. Baste with oil towards the end of cooking, or melted ghee.

      1. I have done this on the same grill and would advise that you pile the coals on one side of the grill and put a drip pan in the other. Start the chicken over the hot side just to get the skin crisped enough and then move them over to the other side to finish. Or vice versa, which ever method you prefer. But I found that being able to remove it from direct heat while still keeping it really hot was a helpful technique.

        4 Replies
        1. re: WCchopper

          Yeah- you want it very hot but don't want the chicken sitting directly over the fire. I don't even like mine to touch the grates, even if it's just for appearance's sake, and to keep it from sticking or falling apart while cooking. You can simulate a tandoor by skewering the chicken and setting the skewers on some foil-wrapped bricks on top of your grate, with the chicken suspended between the bricks. The bricks will even radiate some heat if you preheat them with the grill.

          1. re: TongoRad

            Good idea- I'll have to try the bricks.

          2. re: WCchopper

            Isn't trandoori chicken traditionally marinated and grilled without the skin?

          3. I watched an episode of Good Eats yesterday and Alton made a pseudo tandoor out of his kettle grill and a terracotta vase. He cut the bottom off, soaked it in water and then put it inverted on his kettle grill. It was pretty interesting.

            DT