Tandoori Masala Spiced Brick Grilled Chicken with Chickpea and Spinach Salad

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Tandoori Masala Spiced Brick Grilled Chicken with Chickpea and Spinach Salad via eHow.com

Where I’m from, the windows are closed more months out of the year than they are opened, but rest assured that the minute the sun shines and the temperatures creep above 50ºF, we’re all screens and no glass. It’s time to air out the house and soak in all the sunlight we possible can as often as possible. Of course, this also means we’re lighting the grill.
Tandoori Masala Spiced Brick Grilled Chicken with Chickpea and Spinach Salad via eHow.com
While my husband is one of those crazy enthusiasts who grills constantly, running it even in below-zero temps and pulling his smoker out, covered with a refrigerator box in the middle of a snowstorm, not everyone has his Norwegian sensibilities and thick skin when it comes to cooking outdoors. This means the return of warm air also brings the return of the grilling season.

As a family, we are always looking for new ways to cut dinner prep time down. It seems there’s always something we’re coming home late from or heading to, especially as the kids get older and are involved in more things. Plus, when it’s nice outside, we like to pack as many family bike rides around the lake and to the park as possible.

Brick grilling a chicken first requires you to spatchcock it, removing the backbone so that it can be grilled flat. Laying out an entire chicken on the grill reduces the overall cooking time, but topping it with a heated brick will help even more.

The result is a quick and easy grilled dinner, with plenty of time for prepping easy sides while the chicken skin crisps. This one combines bold and fragrant Indian spices for a bit of a twist on your usual grilled fare, and it incorporates fresh spring spinach into a light and refreshing salad. Soon you’ll be full and satisfied and ready for a bike through the woods or headed off to soccer practice with the littles.
Tandoori Masala Spiced Brick Grilled Chicken with Chickpea and Spinach Salad via eHow.com
Tandoori Masala Spiced Brick Grilled Chicken with Chickpea and Spinach Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
For the chicken:

  • 1 whole roaster chicken
  • 2 tablespoons tandoori masala (spice mix below)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the salad (inspired by Food & Wine):

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons tandoori masala
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 green onions, diced

Directions

  1. Wrap an 8×10-inch brick in aluminum foil and place on grill. Light the grill.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and discard. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone of the bird. Once you have the chicken cut down the center, cut the other side of the backbone and discard. Make a small cut in the center of the chicken where the breastbone is. Slide your finger underneath and gently pull it out. Trim any excess fat around edge of chicken.
  3. Mix together the salt and tandoori masala. Rub the spice mixture uniformly under the skin of the chicken. Rub the top side of the chicken skin with olive oil and add an additional sprinkle of salt and tandoori masala.
  4. Move the brick from the grill using oven mitts or grilling mitts. Place the chicken in the grill, skin side down, and replace the brick on top of the chicken. Close the lid, reduce heat to medium low, and leave to cook for fifteen minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side, again placing the brick on top.
  5. After chicken is finished (look for an internal temperature to reach 180° F) about 15 more minutes, remove from grill. Allow the chicken to rest covered with a piece of foil for a few minutes before slicing to serve.
  6. While the chicken is resting, prepare the salad. In a small sauté pan, heat the oil and the spices over medium heat until fragrant. Add in the chickpeas and stir to coat. Remove from the heat.
  7. Mix together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, cilantro, and salt. Stir in the spiced chickpeas to coat. Add to the spinach and toss to combine. Garnish with the green onions.

Tandoori Masala Spice Mix:

  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Mix together and store in a sealed container.

Photo credit: Shaina Olmanson

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