Marinate the chicken:
Remove the skin and trim excess fat from the chicken. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut three or four long, diagonal slits on each thigh against the grain, almost to the bone.
In a large, shallow bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, garam masala, kosher salt, and cayenne. Add the chicken, turning to coat and making sure that the marinade gets into all of the slits in the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
To roast the thighs for Chicken Tikka Masala:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Transfer the chicken from the marinade to the baking sheet, spacing the thighs evenly. Discard any remaining marinade. Roast until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced and an instant-read thermometer in a meaty part of a thigh registers 170°F, about 45 minutes.
Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken. Let it cool before using in the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. Refrigerate if making ahead.
To grill the chicken and serve on its own:
Heat a gas grill to medium high. Oil the grill liberally. Remove the chicken from the marinade and lay the chicken on the grill. Discard the marinade. Cover and cook until grill marks appear, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken and continue to cook until the second side has grill marks, about 5 minutes more. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, flipping occasionally, until it is no longer pink near the bone (cut into a thigh to check), 10 to 15 minutes for small thighs, 15 to 20 minutes for large. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Brush the chicken with the melted butter and squeeze lemon halves on top. Garnish with the lemon wedges and the sliced onion.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on six servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips