Tandoori Chicken

Total Time:
5 hr 35 min
30 min
4 hr 15 min
50 min

4 servings

  • 2 (2 1/2-pound) whole chickens
  • Spice Rub:
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Tandoori Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 7 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder*
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • For garnish:
  • 1/2 pound mixed salad greens
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, for basting
  • *Garam Masala can be found at specialty Indian markets.
  • To prepare each chicken: Rinse under cold water and remove all the skin. With a sharp knife, make 3 deep incisions in each breast, 3 in each thigh and 2 on each drumstick. Then with a butcher knife, cut each chicken into quarters. First, cut the chicken in half down the middle. Second, cut the legs off where the thigh meets the body. Lastly, remove each breast, keeping the wings attached. Place the pieces of chicken on a large plate.

  • To prepare the spice rub: In a small bowl, combine the salt, chili powder and lemon juice to make a thick paste. Rub the paste evenly over the chicken legs and breasts. Set the chicken aside for 15 minutes to let the flavors absorb.

  • To prepare the tandoori sauce: In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, heavy cream, ginger paste, garlic paste, cumin, garam masala, and saffron. Whisk everything together until it is well mixed. Rub the sauce evenly over the chicken legs and breasts, thoroughly covering the chicken. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 4 hours.

  • Preheat an oven or charcoal grill to 350 degrees F.

  • To prepare the garnishes for the dish: Wash and drain the salad greens and slice the onion and the lemon.

  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Skewer the legs starting from the drumstick end, through to the thigh so that the leg is spread out straight for even roasting. Skewer the breasts starting from the wing, through the breast so that the wing is spread out straight for even roasting.

  • If cooking the chicken in an oven, place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan lined with foil to catch the drippings. If cooking the chicken on a grill, place the chicken directly on the grill with a pan underneath it to catch the drippings. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove and baste with the melted butter and drippings from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken back to the heat and roast for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork, basting a couple more times during cooking.

  • To serve: Arrange 1 leg and 1 breast on each plate, with mixed salad greens, a lemon wedge, and onion slices in the middle.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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4.5 11
I love this recipe - my husband and kids (5 year old twins couldn't eat enough of it! It was great the next day as left overs. I did make two changes: 1 I didn't add the heavy cream, I just increased the yogurt and I used greek yogurt and 2 I baked in a 500 degree oven for 40 mins without basting. The high heat really trapped in the juicy flavors and put a delicious crust on the top. I am make this again for a big party next week. I served this with a himalayan red rice salad and curried veggies. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Authentic flavors made easy! I adjusted the spices to taste and it came out delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The only alterations I would make to the tandoori spice rub is: Yogurt - 1 1/2 cups, well beaten, Ginger Paste ? 1 tbsp, Garlic Paste ? 1 tbsp, Red Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp, Paprika ? 1/2 tsp, Tandoori Masala - 1 tbsp, Coriander Powder ? 1 tsp, Salt ? to taste, Lemon Juice ? 1 tbsp, Green Chili - to taste, ground. Also, when basting, use lemon juice and butter with some red chili powder (Not having chili powder, I used red chili pepper flakes) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wasn't familiar w/Indian foods before now----had a couple and wasn't impressed. This was very good ! Also enjoyed the comments from Paula .....Anonymous, if your family doesn't like it that's okay, just go check out the websites Paula recommended :) :) I personally enjoyed the dish and the comment from Paula. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have had real tandoor dishes prepared in India and this was by far the closest do-it-yourself recipe to the real thing that I have had. Be careful with the chilli powder as it can make the dish too hot for many folks used to a diet with little spice. I used boneless thighs and drumsticks and which both worked very well. Make sure to make deep cuts in the thicker pieces of meat so the dry rub and marinade can get inside. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it. But I think the measurements for the spice rub are off. 4 tbsp of lemon juice with one tsp of chili powder does not make a thick paste! I have a feeling its something closer to 4tbsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of lemon juice. At least, thats what I did and it tasted great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
that's good item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great Recipe, authentic flavors, easy to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was very tasty and authentic. It also was easy to do and was nice marinating for 1 day. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A nice alternative but what do you serve it with? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This chicken has a very unique taste item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Tandoori Chicken with Mashed Chick Peas and Pepper and Onion Salad

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray