I would not have comprehended making something like Tandoori chicken at home a couple of years ago. This dish is the reason you go to an Indian restaurant!
Not any more.
This is a really simple recipe to make at home. I’ve made it twice and it was insanely juicy and flavorful each time. The only two kickers are (1) long marinade time and (2) using your oven on a REALLY high heat to mimic a Tandoori oven.
If you don’t mind prepping food one day ahead and running your oven on 550 degrees F, you no longer need fabulous Indian Restaurants for your Tandoori chicken. Huge win to me!
I apologize for not inviting you over…it is that good.
adapted from Foods for 7 Stages of Life
Cooking time 30 minutes, prep time 4-24 hours
- 4 bone-in chicken breasts
- Juice of 1 lime mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 small or 1/2 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ginger (I use the paste/tube kind since it lasts a while)
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 tablespoon garam masala*
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- red food coloring
- salt to your taste
- optional: 1/2 onion sliced for plating plus lime wedges for serving
*Garam Masala: there are soooo many variations. The first time I made this dish I didn’t have it, but I could find the ingredients for garam masala and it was just as good. Try this recipe
to make it at home. Or order it on amazon.com
Wash chicken and prepare by cutting off any gross parts (I define these as extra fatty or very red pieces). Dry and keep the skin on if you have any. Make 3-4 large deep cuts all the way to the bone in each breast. This helps the marinade penetrate and gives the chicken the tandoori style look.
Place chicken in a large bowl with the lime mixed with salt. Rub the lime juice all over the chicken and under the skin, in all of the crevices. Then place in the refrigerator covered while you prepare the marinade.
For the marinade combine the yogurt, onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, garam masala, cumin, and turmeric in a food processor or blender. Blend or process until there are no longer any chunks. Salt to taste.
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator. Drop 4-5 drops of red food coloring on the chicken and cover chicken thoroughly, I just use my hands here. The food coloring is optional but it gives the chicken the beautiful colors typical of Tandoori chicken.
I a large plastic bag or large bowl place the chicken and pour the marinade over it. Using your hands make sure you cover the chicken thoroughly, in all the crevices.
Marinate for 24 hours.If you don’t have the time, 4 hours works but the longer the better.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 550 degrees F. If you store anything under or above your oven now is the time to remove it due to the extreme heat.
Cover a baking sheet in 2-3 layers of tin foil. Let each piece of chicken drip, then place chicken on the baking sheet. Place in the oven carefully with an oven mitt. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven carefully. Baste with marinade and cook for 15 more minutes. You want it to char nicely in spots around each piece of chicken.
Serve over a bed of sliced onions with lime wedges. Store bought or homemade naan bread is a must.