|Zafrani Tengri Kebab...Saffron Marinated Chicken Drumsticks|
Kebab is one of the most popular grilled food in the world. A dish that originated in the middle east, now found world wide. Kebabs are quick and easy. The steps are so simple, marinate the meat... grill it... eat it. Sometimes I wonder about those culinary geniuses who invented these simple yet delicious dishes like this.
Meat or fish or vegetables or tofu/paneer...you can make kebabs using any of theese...just marinate and grill them. They are always a show-stopper.
I like to play around with different spices every time I make kebabs, so I get a new flavor each time. Last night I used saffron strands to marinate the chicken drum sticks, to make the tengri kebab. (Tengri means leg piece or drum stick).
The steps are very simple. First wash and pat dry the drumsticks with a paper towel. I used chicken drumsticks without skins. Make some slits on the flesh with a sharp knife, as if I do not mention you are going to use a blunt one...:)
|Slits on the flesh|
Make the slits in an angle and deep, so that you can touch the bones with your knife. No, you do not need to cut the bones.
|First marination: Salt, Black Pepper, Lime juice|
Sprinkle salt, black pepper powder and lime juice on the drumsticks. I was working with five drumsticks, so juice from a half lime was good. Rub the chicken pieces well with these three things, and on those slits also. Cover and let the chicken pieces marinate for 15-20min.
While the chickens are marinating, grate some onion and extract the juice. In a bowl mix ginger paste, juice of onion, yogurt, degi mirch powder or paprika powder, cinnamon powder, and saffron. If you like use few drops of yellow food color to it, it will give a nice color to your kebabs.
|Rub the chicken pieces with saffron|
See I'm so clever I rubbed few strands of saffron to the chicken pieces to give it a nice color and flavor.
|Use Greek yogurt for best result or you can use hung curd. Just keep the curd or yogurt on a cheese cloth resting it on a strainer for 1hr inside the fridge and your hung curd will be ready to use|
Marinate the chicken pieces with the yogurt mix. Use your hand to put the marination inside the slits. And of course wash your hand well with soap and water.
Keep the marinated chicken pieces in a closed container inside the refrigerator for 6-8hrs or overnight.
Take out the marinated meat at least 1hr before grilling. I used my kitchen oven to grill the chicken, but you can always use outside BBQ to grill them and enjoy a BBQ party with your friends. For those who does not have an oven, do not worry you can grill it on your cook top also, just remember to open all the windows in your house.
To grill it on the oven, pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas mark6. Take a baking tray cover it with aluminium foil. Spray it with cooking oil or brush cooking oil on it, now place the chicken pieces on the tray and put it inside the pre-heated oven on the top rack. You can also use a baking rack and rest the chicken pieces on the rack and grill it. Cook for 10min, turn the chicken pieces, baste with melted butter and again cook for 10min. You can put a fork on the slits and check if the meat is cooked or not. If it looks pink then you need to cook more and if it looks white then it is done. Now turn the oven to broil and cook for 5min. You can hear nice splattering sound, and smell a nice charred smell. Switch off the oven. Let the chicken rest inside the oven for 5min. Take it out, careful do not burn yourself, it will be HOT...
In the subcontinent Tandoor is used to cook the meat. Tandoor is a clay oven, where charcoal is used and the temperature is very high. Chicken put in the skewers go inside the tandoor. The flavor of charcoal makes it more delicious. You can achieve that using an outdoor grill.
If you want to cook it on cook top, just grease a non stick tawa or flat pan and place the chicken pieces and keep cooking till it is cooked and takes a nice charred look.
Serve with lime wedges and onion rings.
Zafrani tengri Kebab:
- Chicken drumsticks:5
- Black pepper powder:1/2tsp
- Lime juice:1tbsp
- Saffron strands:1/2tsp
- Ginger paste:2tsp
- Onion juice:1tbsp
- Degi mirch powder/paprika:1/2tbsp
- Cinnamon powder:1tsp
- Greek yogurt/hung curd:1/3cup
- Yellow food color(optional):3-4 drops
- Melted butter for basting
- Salt to taste
- Wash chicken and pat dry. Make some slits on the flesh.
- Marinate with salt, black pepper powder and lime juice, for 15-20min.
- Mix onion juice, ginger paste, saffron strands, paprika powder, cinnamon powder and yogurt in a bowl. Marinate the chicken with that for 6-8hrs or overnight.
- Pre-heat oven at 400F/200C/Gas mark 6.
- Keep the chicken pieces on a baking tray or baking rack and cook for 10min on each side. If needed cook little more.
- Broil for 5min. Rest the chicken for 5min. Serve with lemon wedges.