Firepot Masala Chai Chicken

Chai Chicken.

I first learned how to cook in high school. Most of my learning was not by recipes but by doing. I always enjoyed baking more than cooking because it was so specific, one wrong proportion and it could all go wrong. Cooking was more flexible but it also left way more room for error. As I've gotten older and cooked much more I've come to love how flexible cooking  meal can be!

I've posted many recipes on infusing tea into baked goods but I've recently been asked if I ever do this with a non dessert meal. I hadn't until I received some firepot Masala Chai from Firepot Nomadic Teas! 

Earlier this week I posted about making tea with the concentrate but did you know it's super easy to cook with it too? Sarah from Firepot Nomadic Teas created fried chicken with this chai concentrate so I thought I would follow suit and make my own baked chicken recipe!

I cook almost every night but it's hard to share my recipes because I often "eye" amounts and decide whether things are are good combination by smell. BUT, for this baked chicken I actually kept track and created a simple recipe! I have some ranges here so that you can create this recipe to your taste

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup Firepot Masala Chai tea concentrate
  • 1 pack chicken tenderloins
  • 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • One small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sambal oelek
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • Salt & pepper

Combine ingredients in a bowl large enough for all the chicken. Place chicken in the bowl, cover and let marinate for several hours. 

Heat oven to 350 and cook chicken on a covered baking dish or sheet for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your tenderloins. 

This marinade turned out so well! The chai tea concentrate is spicy but also sweet. The garlic and ginger bring out the chai taste and the sambal oelek helps add a little heat to the dish! 

Please give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! 

I had the chance to ask Sarah from Nomadic Teas a few questions and I wanted to share! Get to know Sarah!

1) What sparked the idea for Firepot and how did you think of the name? 

I started Firepot in 2001 when I was cooking at a Tibetan Teahouse in Bozeman, Montana. I was making chai, passionately learning about Fair Trade and tea and the business sprung to life! I was inspired by the nomadic nature of a candle actually-- and thinking how wonderful a transportable pot of fire was... And decided Firepot would work for my own transportable pot of fire, tea!

2) What is currently your favorite tea that you offer?

My favorite in the collection right now is one of our rare, seasonal ones-- Tumsong estate Darjeeling first flush! I've drunk about 5 pounds since it was harvested in March!

3) Can you go share some of the pros/cons of tea concentrate vs loose leaf? 

Concentrate is fast, easy and delicious... Since we brew it for an extended period of time, just like they do on the streets of India, it's potent-- and already is sweet. Our loose leaf chai offers versatility and value- you can add your own sugar or not and make it as strong or weak as you like. Loose leaf tea in general delivers a more uniform and flavorful infusion because the leaves are allowed to swim freely in the water-- not confined to a teabag.

4) What is your favorite recipe you've created with the firepot chai? 

Oh- my favorite recipe was the chai bourbon mule I made this summer for Music City Food and Wine in Nashville!

5) What tea would you suggest for a new tea drinker?

Depending on what the new tea drinker was currently enjoying (coffee, etc...) and where they lived, i.e. what their palate was acclimated to, I'd recommend either a tea with a sweet and easy profile like our Moroccan Jasmine mint (green) Hibiscus Elixir (botanical) or, if they enjoy strong coffee, I'd recommend our Assam or Firepot Breakfast.

6) What is your favorite place to enjoy tea? If you could drink tea anywhere in the world where would you do it? 

I love to drink tea in one of its traditional settings. Sheng Puerh at the gongfucha table of a tea maker in Yunnan, gyokuro at a ryokan in Japan overlooking a tea garden, chai at a stall in Dharamshala, iced tea on my front porch with girlfriends...I have never had mint tea in Morocco and am excited to do that one day. I fantasize about sweet, sensual mint tea in the medina in Fes.

7) Do you have a favorite tea pun? If so which one?

I love you so matcha! Is my favorite tea pun.