BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Tandoori-Style Roast Chicken

  • Prep Time 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $16.00
  • 4 Comments

Tandoor ovens, perhaps best known for their role in cooking naan and Tandoori chicken and fish, are a mainstay in Indian and Pakistani homes and restaurants. They get extremely hot and are used to quickly cook food, often charring it a bit in the most pleasant of ways.

I don't have one in my tiny apartment kitchen, but that's never stopped me from making my own naan, and, feeling inspired by some delicious Pakistani food I had recently, I decided to put a tandoor spin on roast chicken.

As you know, I'm a big fan of roasting chicken at a very high heat, yielding a crisp skin and tender, juicy interior. Since this is in a similar vicinity as tandoor, cooking, I figured that if I applied Tandoori flavors to chicken legs before roasting them at a high heat, i I could get a similar result to traditional Tandoor chicken. Though the skin is typically removed before roasting in the case of Tandoori chicken (and you can feel free to do so if you prefer), I decided to leave it on, because as far as I am concerned, crispy chicken skin is the new bacon.

I started by making a marinade of spices (look for these in Indian specialty grocery stores like Vik's--they're amazingly cheap when you buy them in bulk!) and yogurt (regular whole milk yogurt, Greek yogurt, plain soy yogurt, or plain coconut milk yogurt all will work), which my chicken legs bathed in overnight (though you can still get delicious chicken if you only have an hour to marinate). The chicken and onions went for a nice long dip.

After tenderizing (the calcium in the yogurt activates enzymes in the meat which breaks down the protein, keeping it ultra-juicy after cooking), the chicken and onions get roasted, just like with regular baked chicken, and that's when the magic happens. The spices impart a deep, dark red color, the skin crisps, and the onions get all charred and roasty.

The lemons and cilantro aren't required, but they do add an amazing pop of freshness. Serve this one with homemade naan (I made my new favorite kind -- chickpea flour!), and a crisp green salad or slaw. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon paprika $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 tablespoon salt Pantry
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper $1.50 for 1 ounce
  • 8 ounces plain yogurt (dairy, soy or coconut all work) $1.50
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced Pantry
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced $0.50
  • 2 whole, bone-in, skin-on chicken legs, cut into 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs $6
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1/8ths $0.50

Recipe Serves 2-3

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the spices, salt, and yogurt. Mix well to combine.
  2. Combine the chicken and onions with the yogurt mixture in an air-tight storage container or a zip-top bag. Make sure the yogurt covers every piece of chicken.
  3. Let marinate for at least an hour (and up to 12 hours).
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  6. Arrange the marinated chicken and onions on the baking sheet, making sure to leave space between each piece of chicken.
  7. Roast for 27-30 minutes, until the chicken is slightly blackened on the outside, and the meat is tender on the inside.
  8. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve hot, with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges, if desired. 

Category: Meals

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Chickpea Flour Flatbread

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 6 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $3
  • 2 Comments

Chickpea flour is one of those wonderous miracle flours. High in protein (6 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and fiber (5 grams per 1/4 cup serving), and relatively low in carbohydrates (18 grams per 1/4 cup serving, only 13 of which are effective, after you subtract the fiber), it's an ideal product for anyone avoiding gluten or refined carbohydrates.

I tend to develop junior high school crushes on ingredients. Sweet potatoes, kale, coconut milk, avocados, and chicken thighs have all been my jam (come to think of it, jam, too, has been my jam).

Well, the latest stud on my culinary dance card is none other than chickpea flour, also known as besan or gram flour (the lattermost is not to be confused with graham flour, famously used in graham crackers). I first learned about it when my friend Andrew told me about a pizza crust he made with it. He said it was deliciously crisp and flavorful--not to mention tailored to accommodate several dietary restrictions.

My ongoing curiosity about chickpea flour was recently satisfied on a Sunday trip to Vik's Chaat in Berkeley, where I like the food, but I love the adjacent Indian grocery store, with its affordable bulk spices, unique teas, outrageously cheap and delicious raw nuts, and fabulous selection of paneer. At Vik's, an enormous two-pound bag of chickpea flour could be mine for a song (OK, for $3). 

Chickpea flour is one of those wonderous miracle flours. High in protein (6 grams per 1/4 cup serving) and fiber (5 grams per 1/4 cup serving), and relatively low in carbohydrates (18 grams per 1/4 cup serving, only 13 of which are effective, after you subtract the fiber), it's an ideal product for anyone avoiding gluten or refined carbohydrates. It tastes nutty but light, and when cooked in a little bit of oil, become outrageously crispy on the exterior while maintaining a lovely tenderness on the inside. 

After much research and several flops (some of my attempts to make this literally flopped, and not in a good way) I have nailed what I believe is the most perfect chickpea flour flatbread around. It's somewhere between naan and a dosa or crepe. Serve it with curry, soup, creamy greek yogurt for dipping, or eat it on its own. I promise, you, too, will be hooked. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan) $3 for 16 oz.
  • pinch of salt Pantry
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped Optional
  • pinch red chile pepper flakes Optional
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil Pantry

Recipe Serves 2

Directions

  1. Sift the chickpea flour and salt together into a mixing bowl, using a sifter or a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Whisk in 1/3 of the water, to form a thick paste, making sure to eliminate all of the lumps. 
  3. Whisk in the remainder of the water. The batter should look and feel like thin pancake batter.
  4. Stir in the cilantro and chile flakes, if using.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan, jiggling the pan a little bit if necessary, to help the batter spread.
  7. Cook the batter for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes firm, and the bottom turns golden brown and crisp.
  8. Carefully flip using the largest spatula you own, then cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, until it also becomes golden brown and crisp.
  9. Remove from the pan, cut into wedges, and serve.

Sweet Potato Nachos

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $4.50
  • 1 Comment

Life is exceedingly good these days.

The sun is shining like crazy here in San Francisco, thanks to our requisite October Indian summer.

Rosh Hashanah came (deliciously) and went, and September ended with a bang: the very exciting news that Young & Hungry, was picked up for a second season! The writers get started next week, and I simply cannot wait!

(I guarantee that in the second season, Gabi Diamond will be using every last one of those kitchen utensils.)

To celebrate all this awesomeness (and, because I was hungry), I whipped up this delicious, gluten-free, non-fried, absolutely fabulous nacho dish. Healthy sweet potatoes (one of my all-time favorite ingredients) get sliced, tossed with extra virgin olive oil, and lightly salted.

After a quick trip to the oven, and a flip halfway through, they get clustered together, ready to be cheesed.

Then cheese, oven time and delicious toppings get added, and you have yourself a glorious grain-free, lower-carb, but still utterly decadent appetizer, snack, or even lunch.

I mean, look at that. 

Happy October!  

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and sliced into 1/8th-inch rounds $1
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Pantry
  • pinch of salt Pantry
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese $3.50 for 8 ounces
  • chopped onion, chopped cilantro, sliced black olives, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or other desired toppings Optional

Recipe Serves 2

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the sweet potato rounds into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and use your hands to toss well, coating each round.
  3. Arrange the oiled sweet potato rounds on a baking sheet, ensuring there is space between each one. Use 2 baking sheets if necessary.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. Bake the sweet potato rounds for 12-13 minutes, until they begin to brown lightly.
  6. Once they have begun to brown, flip the rounds and bake for another 9-11 minutes.
  7. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven (but leave the oven on), flip the browned sweet potato rounds once again, and arrange in a cluster, so they are all touching (you may have to make 2 batches).
  8. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the sweet potato rounds and return to the oven for another 5-6 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  9. Remove from the oven and garnish with desired toppings. 
  10. Serve immediately.

Jalapeño-Honey Chicken

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 45 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $6.25
  • 2 Comments

One of the things I love most about Jewish holidays is the emphasis on special and wonderful food (though, to be fair, we make pretty much everything about special and wonderful food). Golden, warm challah, tender brisket, moist, delicious kugel--we're a people that likes to eat.

Next week (Wednesday evening, to be exact) marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (and the first of the High Holy Days). A classic dish on the Rosh Hashanah table is roast chicken, which, for me usually means my Third Date Chicken, or my Best Ever Roast Chicken Legs, but this year I want to shake it up a bit. Or, more precisely, spice it up a bit.

Jewish cooking is all about making meaning with food (just look at a Passover seder plate to see what I mean), so this year, I'm making meaning with chicken. Honey is a traditional food used on Rosh Hashanah, intended to symbolize the sweetness of a new year.

So, by that logic, honey blended with garlic and ripe, just-spicy-enough jalapeño chiles and brushed onto juicy (and affordable!) chicken legs, roasted until the meat is outrageously tender and the skin is sticky-sweet and crisp (with just enough heat to keep it interesting) should symbolize a downright incredible year to come.

This chicken is crazy easy to make and it's even easier to double or triple the recipe. Though I prefer it hot out of the oven, it's delicious at room temperature, or even cold the next day. The jalapeño cooks down with the garlic and honey into a sticky almost-jam, glazing the chicken legs with spicy, garlicky sweetness, and turning them a gorgeous dark brown.

Serve the chicken with a roasted vegetable or two, homemade challah, and maybe my friend Tori Avey's Honey Apple Cake for dessert, and you're looking at a year (or, at the very least, a meal) that is simply unstoppable. 

Ingredients

  • jalapeño, de-stemmed and chopped (remove the seeds if you are sensitive to heat) $0.25
  • 1/4 cup honey Pantry
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped Pantry
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt Pantry
  • 2 whole chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks) $6

Recipe Serves 2

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.  
  3. In a food processor, combine the jalapeño, honey, garlic and salt. Puree until mostly smooth (it's OK if there are a few small chunks of jalapeño left).
  4. Use paper towels to carefully dry all sides of the chicken.
  5. Use a pastry brush or a spoon to slather 2/3 of the honey-jalapeño mixture all over the chicken pieces (reserve 1/3 for later).
  6. Roast the chicken for 25 minutes, then brush or spoon on the remaining honey-jalapeño mixture and roast for another 14-17 minutes, until the chicken skin is golden-brown and crisp and the meat is cooked through. 
  7. Let the chicken legs rest for 5 minutes, then serve hot.