Some of you might remember how enthusiastic I was to discover Rick Stein’s India, bought after seeing his fascinating culinary tv series set in India. Apart from opening my eyes to the world of Indian fish and seafood cuisine, both the tv program and the book made me stop using the curry powder after long years of mistaking it for a traditional spice mixture. Apparently it is considered by many – or maybe all ? – Indian cooks as a Western attempt to make a false shortcut to their rich culinary heritage and a disgrace to their cuisine. This information was enough to make me throw the stuff away.
Before, curry powder was a staple, especially as a part of rub for baked or grilled chicken. Nowadays I simply combine individual spices on my own, ending up with mixtures which are composed of Indian spices, but I never pretend they are genuine or/and traditional. I enjoy this new approach and find the flavours somehow clearer and brighter. This simplest four-ingredient rub has quickly become my basic favourite for all the baked chicken cuts, eaten both warm and cold (in sandwiches, wraps, spring rolls or salads). I think I use this spice mixture on average once a week, so I couldn’t imagine not sharing it with you. The below recipe is for baked skinless thighs, but you an easily adapt it to any chicken cut you want, skinless or not.
TIPS: I do not recommend using fresh garlic here (unless you stuff the meat with it) because it will burn during the baking/grilling process. Dried ground garlic can be bought probably everywhere, but I encourage you to make your own. It takes only a while and the final result is noticeably better than the one you used to buy. Here is my easy recipe for Homemade Dried Garlic.
If you don’t like hot dishes, replace chilli powder with sweet pepper powder.
If you don’t use turmeric often, beware: it’s very easy to overdose and make your chicken bitter.
Preparation: 20 minutes – 1 hour depending on the method and the cuts (grilling chicken breasts will take about 20 minutes, while baking legs might take up to one hour, including the oven preheating time)
Ingredients (serves two):
2 chicken thighs (skinned or not) or other chicken cuts of your choice
oil to brush on skinless cuts
1 teaspoon dried powdered garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons powdered chilli or powdered sweet pepper
Rub the spices into the chicken, starting with salt.
Brush with oil on top if you use skinless cuts.
Preheat the oven, if baking or broiling.
Put the seasoned chicken legs into a baking dish.
Bake or broil or grill until the meat is golden. (If you grill or broil, you need to turn the cuts of course; if you bake, you don’t need to do it).