Over ten years ago (and about 6 months pregnant!), I catered my brother’s groom’s dinner with this recipe. I bought my first Indian cookbook and sampled recipes with my sister-in-law for weeks. The menu was deliberately and uniquely a celebration of America meets India.
That meal. The Indian grilled chicken with two different marinades, spicy corn on the cob with clarified lime butter, piles of homemade naan, profiteroles with raspberries and homemade peach ice cream (not Indian!) for desserts–all in the middle of the hottest week of summer in a venue with no AC. Holy. I remember that moment when people left and all Jo and I could do was put our feet up and look at each other. It was a creative and cooking marathon really, and even though I couldn’t feel parts of my body for the next 24 hours, the process had me a little hooked.
Out of all those recipes, I have repeated the Soya Murgh the most often. The original recipe calls for soy sauce but since I was off of soy for a few weeks, I experimented with coconut aminos, and it was the perfect replacement in which I now use all of the time. Who knew the process for making soy sauce can be done with a coconut tree’s sap and unbleached, naturally white sea salt. (I have so much to learn!)
You should put this marinade on your summer to-make list, the soy or aminos way. If you are on any kind of diet restrictions, now or temporarily, it is also good to know that recipes like this can still make your day, and you don’t have to eat boiled bland chicken to get some protein. So many recipes can be altered just a bit, and this one has made me believe again that eating whole can be fun and delicious.
Indian spiced chicken
- 4 cloves of garlic peeled and left whole
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled
- 1/2-1 jalapeño pepper stems removed and seedless (keep the seeds in for more of a kick!)
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 6 tablespoons of coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons of white or rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes, rinsed and drained
- In a food processor or blender, add the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and cilantro leaves.
- Blend until minced. Add the remaining aminos, vinegar, oil, pepper, and garam masala.
- Blend until all ingredients are mixed and fairly smooth.
- Pour the marinade into a glass baking dish or bowl. If you are pan frying the chicken, remove 1/4 cup of marinade and set aside (or make double the marinade and set aside half!)
- Next add in the chicken pieces and make sure the marinade coats all the chicken pieces. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4.
- Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers (alternating with onions and peppers if you like), give them a little itty bit of space between pieces.
- Grill them covered for about 10 minutes or until cooked through (covered is lower heat), turning at least once.
- At the end, uncover the grill and char (not burn) them for a couple of minutes for extra flavor. This charring at the end gives this recipe more of an authentic Tandoori style flavor. (NOTE: grilled chicken can dry out really fast! My go-to griller Tim says he makes this mistake 50% of the time. Use your timer and you'll be glad you did. Too dry this time? Note why for next time!)
For Stovetop cooking:
- Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large sauté pan.
- Using a slotted spoon transfer chicken pieces to hot pan and cook on all sides, tossing every 2-3 minutes.
- When chicken is cooked through, pour your reserved 1/4 cup of marinade, or half of a recipe if you doubled it for this purpose, into the pan and toss around the chicken pieces, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go. Let the sauce simmer and thicken, moving chicken around to continue cooking and reduce the sauce. This process will go quickly, so watch it in case you need to turn it down and keep the parts moving to keep sauce from burning.
- Remove chicken and sauce from heat before it starts to stick or burn to the pan.