For extra-juicy—and flavorful—fried chicken, chef Rupam Bhagat of Dum in San Francisco marinates his meat using the traditional two-step tandoori process: He first lets the chicken sit in a blend of aromatic spices for 12 hours and then folds in yogurt that helps tenderize the meat and caramelize the crust when it’s fried.
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6 garlic cloves, chopped
One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
6 small chicken thighs
6 small chicken drumsticks
1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
Chaat masala, for sprinkling
Small cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish
How to Make It
In a food processor, puree the garlic with the ginger, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, the 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper until smooth. Scrape the marinade into a large bowl, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Stir the yogurt into the marinade, re-cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 more hours.
Preheat the oven to 250° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a shallow bowl, mix the chickpea flour with 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 325°. Set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Working in batches, fry the chicken until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160°, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the rack, season with salt and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining chicken.
Sprinkle the chicken with chaat masala and transfer to a platter. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges; serve.
Chickpea flour can be found at most health food stores and on amazon.com.