This month’s issue of Bon Appétit magazine has four turkey recipes that look really good. Of course four whole turkeys are about three and a half more than the two of us consume in a year so I’ve made some compromises. Last week, when I made the Asian spice inspired cider-brined turkey, I cut back on the ingredients and used turkey thighs. This week I wanted to take a stab at the recipe for Tandoori turkey, but after a closer inspection of the ingredient list, which included at least 14 different spices that needed to be toasted and then ground, I opted to wing it with the Garam Masala powder I had in the spice drawer. Besides, it was mostly the technique of marinating the bird in an oven bag and using the same bag, marinade and all, to roast it in, that intrigued me. This time I used a whole chicken and a lot of improvising.
My marinade was made with about a cup of plain yogurt, a tiny piece of fresh ginger, a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, a few cloves of chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of paprika, two tablespoons of Garam Masala, 1/2 a teaspoon of chili powder, and a little black pepper. All the ingredients were puréed in a blender and put in an oven bag. After rubbing the chicken inside and out with salt, I tossed in a couple of cardamon pods, a clove of garlic, a chopped shallot, some cumin seeds, and a stalk of celery. The chicken was then placed in the bag with the marinade and refrigerated over night. It probably took about an hour and a half to roast it in the Sun Oven the next day, and the back yard smelled like an Indian restaurant. After straining the cooking liquid and removing the top layer of fat I simmered it on the stove in a small pot for about 20 minutes. I served it with rice, and it wasn’t at all bad, not quite as good as last week’s turkey, but good enough to make again.