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Tandoori Chicken

Learn how to make Tandoor Chicken at home, without traditional clay ovens that restaurants use. You’ll have flavor-packed tandoori chicken that’s fork tender.

Tandoori Chicken
Tender, flavorful, restaurant-style tandoori chicken can be made at home.

Indian Style TAndoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is high on my list of favorite Asian Indian dishes.  In fact, it is next in line after my all-time fave, Chicken Tikka Masala.

Tandoori chicken also a dish that traditionally requires a clay oven with the capacity to hit 900F.  Most of us will have to compromise and tweak things a bit in order to mimic the results of a high heat Tandoor oven.

Thus, I was super excited to find a new Tandoori Chicken recipe that turns out phenomenal flavor, using just my humble little oven.  Though this isn’t an exact replica of what we’d get with a true Tandoor Oven chicken, it comes deliciously close…in fact, it’s tastier than many of the Tandoori Chicken versions we’ve eaten.

We all agreed that this recipe is a keeper; anytime the kids happily grub on a new recipe, it automatically goes into rotation!

Watch us Make Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori chicken boasts aromatic blend of seasonings

Healthy yet Rich and Complex in flavor

This Tandoori Chicken is full of the rich and complex flavor that characterizes Asian Indian cuisine. The simple cooking method results in chicken that is both tender and succulent. If you allow the chicken to marinade at least 4 hours, the flavor will soak in beautifully.

My favorite thing about this Tandoori Chicken is how unbelievably easy it is to dish up! The only part that takes planning ahead is the marinade time.

My other favorite thing is how healthy this yummy chicken is. Packed with aromatic spices and whole yogurt, this mouth-watering chicken is absolutely guilt-free indulgence.

Serve with some fluffy Basmati rice and enjoy!

Tandoori Chicken
Serve Tandoori Chicken with fluffy basmati rice

Other Indian style recipes to try:


Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to make Tandoor Chicken at home, without traditional clay ovens that restaurants use. You'll have flavor-packed tandoori chicken that's fork tender.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Servings: 16

Ingredients  

  • 16 chicken legs/drumsticks, or 3 lbs other bone-in chicken pieces
  • 3 TB light olive oil
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TB ground ginger, or 2 TB freshly grated
  • 1 TB garam masala
  • 1 ½ TB smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 limes + extra wedges for garnish
  • 2 ½ tsp table salt

Instructions

  • Thoroughly dry chicken pieces.  Using a fork, deeply pierce each piece well, on all sides.  Set aside while you make the marinade.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.  Stir in ginger, garam masala, paprika, cumin, and chili powder.  Cook 30 seconds longer.  Transfer half of garlic mixture to a medium bowl, stir in the yogurt, and add 2 TB fresh lime juice.  Set medium bowl in fridge until ready to use.
  • In a large bowl, combine remaining garlic mixture, remaining lime juice, and salt.  "Loosen" mixture a bit with a couple dashes of olive oil.   Transfer pierced chicken to this large bowl and rub mixture onto chicken until all pieces are evenly coated.  Cover tightly and put in fridge for 2-4 hours.  Remove from fridge 1 hour before you're ready to cook, so it has time to get close to room temp.
  • Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat to 325F.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • One at a time, work yogurt mixture into each chicken piece so that each piece is thickly coated, including underneath the skin.  Place chicken onto baking sheet and pour any remaining yogurt mixture over the chicken.  Roast chicken 20-25 minutes, depending on size of pieces (125-130 degrees if using meat thermometer.)
  • Remove chicken from oven, and adjust oven rack 6 inches from top heat broiler.  Return chicken to oven rack, and broil until chicken is lightly charred in spots, about 8-12 minutes.  Each oven is different and chicken pieces vary in size, so watch carefully to ensure chicken does not burn.
  • Transfer chicken to serving plate, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with Basmati rice and lime wedges.

Notes

This Tandoori Chicken recipe does not use red food coloring, which is often added for that reddish hue you may recognize with other Tandoori Chicken recipes. Add food coloring if you must, but we prefer ours without it. The flavor is phenomenal either way.
If desired, you can place chicken on a wire rack set on top of baking sheet, rather than directly on baking sheet.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.3g | Protein: 25.6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Cholesterol: 116.2mg | Sodium: 523.9mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.3g
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian American
Method: baking

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Recipe Rating




11 comments

    • Joyce C

    Does the chili powder in this recipe add a lot of heat to the chicken or does it just help balance out the flavors? I’m wondering if I should halve the amount or omit it altogether since my son won’t eat anything spicy. Thank you!

      • chewoutloud

      If he won’t touch any spice, you can omit the chili powder. If you like a bit of spice for yourself, you can sprinkle it on your bowl after cooking. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Jack Zucker

    UGH – Baked to 130 and it was still raw. Everywhere else I see that it should cook to 165. What gives?!?

      • chewoutloud

      Jack, that’s a true mystery! Do you know the exact temp of your oven? It for sure should not be raw at all if you baked it according to recipe. Try using an oven thermometer that can accurately tell your true baking temp. Hope that solves it 🙂

        • Jack A. Zucker

        The problem isn’t the oven temperature. I actually use a thermopop digital thermometer which is extremely accurate. The problem is 130 degrees + 8 minutes of broiling is not enough to bring the chicken to 165

          • chewoutloud

          Jack, feel free to cook yours longer. Hope you enjoy the dish, and hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

            • Jack A. Zucker
            • 5 stars

            Thanks, didn’t mean to be picky. Once I got it a little more well-done, my wife and I agreed that it’s the best tandoori chicken we’ve ever eaten.

              • chewoutloud

              Thumbs up! 🙂

        • Gloria Stakes

        Where are the electric pressure cooker directions/ In the lead in on the Google search page it says …you got an electric pressure cooker. The ingredients sound phenominal, and I have everything I need. The pressure cooker version I found, doesn’t have the same ingredients. I guess I could use my senior brain to try to combine the two.
        I want to try the Tandoori, too.

          • chewoutloud

          Hi, Gloria! I’m not sure where the cooker idea came from…it’s probably a strange mistake on google. This Tandoori recipe is super easy just using the oven…give it a try? We think/hope you will love it as much as our family and friends do! Enjoy, and happy cooking 🙂

        • Loulou

        This sounds like my cup of tea! Will try it soon and let you know.

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