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Spatchcocked Tandoori Chicken

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  • jumbo7676
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 192
    • Centreville, VA
    • GMG Daniel Boone

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    Spatchcocked Tandoori Chicken

    I use “Tandoori” loosely here, as this was not cooked in a tandoor oven and no traditional spiced yogurt marinade was used (got to keep things dairy free for a while). But it was seasoned with Penzey’s Tandoori seasoning (coriander, cumin, sweet paprika, garlic, ginger, cardamom and saffron) so Tandoori I shall call it.

    This was a disappointing cook, even though the final product turned out good.

    I got a fresh 5-lb chicken from a local farm on Thursday. Saturday night, I spatchcocked it, dry-brined with a mixture of salt and baking powder (3:1) to help crisp the skin, and put it in the fridge on a wire rack to dry until ready to cook the next night.

    Sunday night, wife was out, kids were in bed. Fired up the pellet pooper to preheat to 375, mixed some tandoori seasoning with olive oil, rubbed the paste under and over the skin of the bird and took it out to the grill. I saw that one side was running hotter than the other. I thought I probably had the heat diffuser slid over a little too far to one side, but decided it wouldn’t be a problem. I could just put the legs towards the hotter side, thinking that the lower temp on the left would help keep the breast from drying out. Put on the chicken, poured some Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye (local distillery), grabbed a seat, and enjoyed a beautiful evening… for a few minutes.

    The hot side was getting hotter while the cooler side was staying put. I dropped the temp to try to cool the hot side and it wasn’t going down. Even if I open the lid to let the heat out and then close it while keeping the grill from firing back up, the heat wouldn’t drop. At this point I’m thinking that maybe there was some grease/fat that had dripped from my previous cook that I didn’t see and it had fired up since I was cooking at a higher temp (which I rarely do on the GMG). If that was the case, I knew there couldn’t be much since I gave this thing a thorough cleaning and the only cook I did since was a short smoke of some short ribs that I was cooking SVQ. Still, not wanting to risk anything bad happening, ranging from ruining my bird to burning down my house, I killed the GMG moved the bird inside to the oven. Kept a close eye on the GMG temp to make sure it was dropping (which it did slowly but surely) knowing that I had a fire extinguisher handy for that freak chance of something going wrong, and all ended well. The chicken came out pretty good and probably pretty close to what would have come off of the pellet grill since at those temps I wouldn’t be getting much smoke anyway.

    Lessons learned:
    1. Always check the bottom of the grill, especially before a higher temp cook, even if I don’t expect anything to be there.
    2. Baking powder in the dry brine DEFINITELY helps with crispy chicken skin.
    3. Using a wet rub under the skin was delicious. And since it was oil, I'm guessing helped further crisp the skin. At the very least, it didn't stop it from getting crispy.
    4. I need to let loose with the spices. This was good, but more seasoning would have been even better.
    Got pictures of a plain raw bird and a seasoned raw bird, but forgot to photo the final product.

    Click image for larger version

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  • TripleB
    Club Member
    • May 2017
    • 355
    • La Crescenta
    • Jambo Backyard Smoker
      Weber Smokey Mountain (22" & 18.5")
      Portable Kitchen 360
      Portable Kitchen Grill
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      Weber "Brownie" Circa 1978 22"
      Weber Gas Grill, Silver A
      BBQ Guru ATC
      Favorite Beer: Peroni
      Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

    #2
    Sounds like a good cook, with lessons learned. I too often forget to attach finished pics.....because it's time to eat!

    Comment

    • mountainsmoker
      Club Member
      • Jun 2019
      • 1453
      • Bryson City, NC

      #3
      Nice. But you need a few additional ingredients for a true Tandoori chicken. Here is my recipe. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipe...chicken/print/ I use Penzy's spices but some of there mixes do not go far enough. You can use an equal amout of the Penzys for the spices in the recipe that would make it even better and more realistic.

      Just cook it to 165 in the thigh not when the juices run clear per recipe. And do get your grill as hot as possible.

      Comment


      • jumbo7676
        jumbo7676 commented
        Editing a comment
        I can't use yogurt right now. Wife is temporarily dairy free.

      • mountainsmoker
        mountainsmoker commented
        Editing a comment
        Look in your dairy section, I saw an ad for soy yogurt.
    • PJD
      PJD
      Club Member
      • Aug 2019
      • 20

      #4
      Looks excellent. I've been wanting to do some poultry with some different flavors, this may be my next attempt.

      Comment

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