Indian tandoori chicken is named after the round, brick-and-clay oven that it’s cooked in: the tandoor. But tonight’s flavorful twist was created for your oven at home! Curried chicken thighs are first seared for perfectly browned skin, then roasted right alongside yogurt-marinated cauliflower. Drizzle over a vibrant green herb chutney (made with Thai chile, if you like the heat), and scoop it all up with spinach-flecked rice.
4 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons vindaloo curry paste, divided
1 ounce baby spinach
¾ cup basmati rice
1 lime, divided
¼ ounce ginger
¼ ounce cilantro
¼ ounce mint
1 Thai green chile
1 container low-fat yogurt
10 ounces cauliflower florets
1 packet agave
1 parchment paper
3 tablespoons canola oil
1¼ cups water
6″ small pot with lid
12″ large ovenproof pan
blender or food processor (optional)
If the cauliflower florets stick to the parchment after roasting, let them cool 2-3 minutes, then carefully loosen with a spatula.
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and place on a plate. Season all over with .5 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired, then rub with half of curry paste. Set aside to marinate at room temperature. Rinse spinach.
While chicken marinates, in a small pot, combine rice, 1.25 cups water, and .25 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until water is fully evaporated, 10-12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, stir in spinach, then cover again to keep warm until ready to serve.
While rice cooks, rinse all produce. Halve lime. Trim and discard skin of ginger and mince. Pick cilantro and mint leaves, discarding stems. Halve Thai chile lengthwise. Using a knife tip, discard seeds and stem, then finely chop up to half. (If you won’t be using a blender to make the chutney, finely mince herbs and chile). In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, remaining curry paste, juice of .5 lime, and .25 teaspoon salt to combine.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken, skin-side down. Sear until skin begins to brown, 5-6 minutes, then remove pan from heat. Carefully flip chicken to preserve the skin. Transfer pan to oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 20-22 minutes.
While chicken roasts, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut cauliflower florets to 1-inch width, if needed. Add to bowl with yogurt sauce and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon to allow excess sauce to drip off, transfer cauliflower to baking sheet in a single layer, spacing florets apart as much as possible. Roast alongside chicken until cauliflower is golden, 20-25 minutes (see Recipe Tip).
In a blender or food processor, combine agave, herbs, chopped chile, ginger, juice of remaining lime, 2 tablespoons canola oil, and .25 teaspoon salt, then blend until smooth. Alternatively, combine finely minced herbs and chile in a small bowl, then stir in remaining ingredients. Plate roasted cauliflower, spinach rice, and chicken, and drizzle over chutney. Dig in!