As a lover of Indian food, I searched and experimented for a long time before finally coming up with this recipe for genuine Indian restaurant-style tandoori chicken that you can make in your own home oven. This recipe was just voted best tandoori chicken in San Francisco by our "completely unbiased" review panel (consisting of several friends who have haunted San Francisco's Indian restaurants with us for the last few years!) Seriously, if you like Tandoori chicken, you are going to love this one -- and it's easy, on top of that... The quantities below make enough marinade for 4 generous servings -- we usually make a package each of 6 drumsticks and 6 thighs, but it would work equally well for a breast and leg quarter each for 4, as well.
For the marinade
- 1 cup plain yogurt (either whole or skim-milk)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon thai chili paste with garlic (optional, but recommended!)
- 12 pieces chicken (6 pc drumsticks and 6 pc. boneless or bone-in thighs, 4 breast halves and 4 leg quarters, etc)
- 3 slices of raw onions, separated into rings, for a garnish
- 1⁄2 lemon, cut into slices, for garnish
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt and lemon juice. Add the spices, minced garlic, and chili paste, and whisk until you have a smooth, thick marinade.
- Put 6 pieces of the chicken in each of two zip-lock bags, and add 1/2 the marinade to each bag. Zip closed and knead the bags until the chicken is well-coated with marinade. Open bags slightly, squeeze out most of the air, and zip closed again. Refrigerate 12-24 hours. If serving this for dinner, I usually make the marinade and start the chicken soaking the evening before.
- Turn the bags and knead the marinating chicken once or twice while it's in the refrigerator.
- When you are ready to cook, take the chicken out of the refrigerator, line a large roasting pan with foil, lay a rack over the pan so air can circulate under the roasting chicken, and pre-heat your oven to 425. If you have a convection bake or convection roast cycle, use that.
- Place the chicken pieces on the rack so they are not touching. Empty what is left of the marinade into a bowl or measuring cup and touch up any "empty" spots on the chicken pieces with the marinade.
- Once the oven is hot, put the pan with the chicken in the oven, and leave the door closed (no peeking!). Turn the chicken pieces once after 30 minutes of cooking time, then roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly charred on the second side, but no more than 15 minutes for legs and thighs. If you are cooking breasts, poke one with a skewer to make sure the juices run clear.
- NOW TURN THE OVEN OFF, and let the chicken rest in the closed oven for 20-30 minutes more (not critical, but NO PEEKING!).
- Remove the chicken to a warm platter, garnish with the onion rings and a few squeezes of lemon, and enjoy!
- See if you don't agree this is as good as any "authentic" Tandoori chicken you've ever tried!
This recipe was AMAZING. I had a chef over for dinner and her 2 foodies and they licked their plates clean. Out of this world. Because I didn't have time to marinate the chicken, I baked it in a covered baking pot in all it's ingredients adding onions sliced round on top. I used 4 skinless chicken breasts and sliced them in half & tenderized them a bit with a mallet. I put all of the ingredients of the marinade in the pot with the chicken and while the oven heated up - it sat soaking in those yummy juices for about 30 minutes. Then I cooked it at 450 for 30 minutes then turned each piece over and cooked it for another 20 - 30 minutes. Took it out and as my guests arrived, I guess it sat in the pot in it's juices for another hour. To go along with the chicken I made saag and a mint chutney and heated up whole wheat pita. My chef friend made a dill cucumber yogurt salad with baby tomatoes that was the perfect addition to the meal. We were stuffed after 1 helping. I can't wait to make this meal again. Thanks for posting it and for everyone's person renditions.
OH BOY DID THIS E-X-C-I-T-E! Have this for night! Bought some tandoori colouring when last time in spice shop, I could go on about the colouring (which is wonderful) but will STOP lol This is the best it can be! What an authentic dish this was to me! Added less than 1/4 teaspoon tandoori colouring, TRUE! I have read can simply add a drop or two of red food colouring dye too! OK, I used chicken tenders, worked for me! Initially heated oven to 220C, then lowered it to 200, as was instinctual for me! Watch it slightly char, was lovely too! When I turned them over, I reapplied what was left of the marinated too! Lowered oven to 180C, cooked for ten minutes, rested for 30, worked PERFECT!!! ABSOLUTLEY PERFECT for me! Think the key is making sure whatever chicken you use, don't dry it out! AS THIS IS A GREAT RECIPE I CERTAINLY DO SHOUT!!! lol THANKS! UPDATE: Served this with Cucumber, Mint, and Tomato Raita Cucumber, Mint, and Tomato Raita TRUE! Slices of red onion, lemon juice...YUMBERINI WHOO HOO!
I have made this recipe twice now. This review is on my first attempt in which I followed the recipe verbatim.<br/>This recipe is awesome! Not quite hot enough for my liking but that is easily fixable by tweaking a few of the ingredients.<br/><br/>On my second attempt, I made two batches. One again exactly as the recipe specified and the second time I doubled the cayenne, doubled the Chili Garlic paste, and added a teaspoon of Hot Curry. Still not quite hot enough... but the flavor is right on.<br/><br/>I uploaded an image showing my HOT batch of thighs. About 1/2 tsp of red food coloring was also added.