Alfresco Days are Here to Stay

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Chicken and Turkey | 0 comments

Here they come.  Food magazines line up revealing summer’s demise and hyping the amazing flavors of fall. Ah, I sigh, not here in Cali.  Garden and green plush lawns are gone; water restrictions sadly display a seemingly endless drought.  So for us grilling season runs through Christmas counting on El Niño to patch us up.

Tandoori Chicken is a great way to plump alfresco-style picnics and potlucks since it is served hot off the grill or portable at room temperature. And, why not indulge in a drum and a thigh setting aside weary boneless, skinless breasts for the harsh winter ahead.


Indeed, another plus is the make-ahead dynamic, meaning you could have prepped this yesterday.



Few ingredients make this simple enough to prepare a double or triple batch. (Drumsticks are beloved by children).



First, sizzle up the spice blend in a bit of oil, which handily removes rawness and busts out fragrant exotic spice notes in less than a minute.


Pour red wine vinegar over the spices and stir.  Place the yogurt in a medium bowl; slide the spice mixture into the yogurt to combine.









Now, drape each piece of chicken in the yogurt mixture to coat.  Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours.  Set up a direct and indirect grilling pattern.  Over moderate heat set the skin side pieces on a well-oiled grill over direct heat.  Let each piece grill without disturbing until it releases easily –don’t rip off the skin—is what I’m saying.  Turn the pieces over and grill until lightly browned and move to indirect heat to finish.  Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.


Serve hot or at room temperature with your best, best sides.

Green Bean Potato Salad

gb salad (2)

Bulgur and Blueberry Salad with Mint Dressing




Grilled Tandoori-style Chicken Thighs


  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons each, curry powder and kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, like Fage
  • Vegetable oil for grill


  1. Mix the spices together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a small non-stick skillet over low heat. Stir in the spices and heat until they become fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Stir in vinegar. Add the yogurt to a medium bowl. Add the spice mixture to the bowl to combine; add chicken thighs and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. When ready to cook, heat a grill to medium -high and coat with vegetable oil. Place each thigh on the grill skin side down resisting the urge to move, grill the thighs until the skin side has dark grill marks and releases easily to turn (about 5-6 minutes). Turn and grill the other side 4-5 minutes longer. Move the thighs to indirect heat cover and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Or move the thighs to an oven-proof baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until done. Set thighs on a platter and let rest before serving.
  2. The recipe easily doubles.
  3. --adapted from Fine Living


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