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.
Marinate Chicken: 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.
Cook Rice: 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.
Prepare Ingredients: 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.
Sear Chicken: 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.
Roast Cauliflower: 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).
Make Chutney and Plate: 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!