The Oxford English Dictionary describes an oxymoron as: “A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.”
Yet, here I am with as oxymoronic a dish as one could think possible. And to add to the culinary confusion, I froze it too. I suppose, to avoid accusations of culinary cultural appropriation, I should call this Oxymoronic Tandoori Style Chicken Sous Vide, Kindah. but, that’s to long for a headline and also “kinda” looks kinda Indian when it’s written down adjacent to Tandoori. But, I digress.
Here’s what I did. It went down a treat when we eventually got to eat it. A while ago, I made up some Tandoori spice mix. I have been storing it in the freezer as an experiment in keeping the spices’ flavour. It was time to try it out this seemed like a worthy approach.
- 9 or 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons of tandoori spice mix – Mine is here.
- 3 tablespoons of plain natural yoghurt
- Juice of a lemon
I mixed the last three ingredients together to form a thick paste. This is full of lovely flavours. I then poured it over the chicken thighs and rubbed it well into the flesh.
Next I spooned the mixture into a vacuum bag (or ziplock bag if you have them handy). If you are a cheapskate like me, you will not have a chamber vacuum and need to use the “off the shelf” method of vacuum sealing. Using a standard vacuum sealer, this involves hanging the bag off the shelf before hitting “Vacuum Seal” on the unit. It works for me.
I threw the bag into the sous vide at 75ºC for an hour. After this I shocked it in an ice bath before putting the bag into the freezer. It resided there for a couple of weeks. I defrosted the chicken in the fridge overnight before putting it in a tray in the oven at 240ºC fan, for ten minutes.
Side note on cultural culinary appropriation: I cooked this in the oven because I do not have a tandoor (traditional Indian clay oven). So, I suppose calling it “tandoori” is a bust. But, I have slyly used the word “style” in my description so I think I get off that particular hook. I have no excuse for the “Kinda nonsense above.
I served it with a handful of salad, a beer and some coriander and butter naan breads. They benefited from a squeeze of lime too. Despite their oxymoronic cooking methods, they tasted great. They had a nice slightly burned edge to the sauce that stuck to the chicken. The chicken itself was delightfully tender and it went very well with the glass of cold beer and naan breads. The salad was there for form. I couldn’t detect any degradation from the time in the freezer too, so cooking in batches could be a good thing.
In summary, I think I have proved that it is not moronic to be a bit oxymoronic occasionally. This one worked, for sure. Give it a go.