Last December the child nutrition department at Los Angeles Unified School District sat down to draw up menus that would fit the new guidelines as proposed under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act such as this Tandoori Chicken with Veggies and Whole-Wheat Naan. David Binkle, deputy director of foodservice, and Mark Baida, executive chef, were part of the team that worked to draft the menus. “It’s like putting together a puzzle because of all the mandates about the amounts of items you have to include in a reimbursable meal while keeping within caloric intake ranges,” Binkle said about drafting the menus.
8 pieces fresh chicken (breasts, legs, thighs, wings)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pint low-fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground paprika
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground hot red chili
Juice 2 lemons (depends on size)
8 cloves garlic, crushed/paste
1-in fresh grated ginger
Fresh sprigs of mint (garnish)
Fresh sprigs of cilantro (garnish)
Fresh slices of lemon (garnish)
1. To assemble: Rinse and dry chicken pieces. Using sharp knife, score flesh of chicken. In mixing bowl, place all ingredients, except chicken.
2. Using wire whisk mix and incorporate well. If marinade is too thick, you may thin out with touch of water. In same mixing bowl, add scored chicken and mix to coat chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place under refrigeration for minimum of 24 hours.
3. Cooking: Pre-heat oven to 450°F. Place wire rack on cooking sheet pan and place in pre-heated oven. Remove marinating chicken out from under refrigeration. When temperature hits 450°F, remove wire rack/cooking pan. Lower oven temperature to 350°F.
4. Remove chicken from marinade, shake off excess marinade. Spray heated wire rack/cooking pan with non stick cooking spray. Place marinated chicken directly on heated wire rack/cooking pan.
5. Place in 350°F oven and bake for approximately 30 mins., or until juice of chicken
runs clear when pierced.
6. For service: On service platter – place fresh sprigs of mint, cilantro, and lemon slices.
Remove chicken pieces from oven and place directly on the garnished platter. Serve with steamed brown rice.