One of the most popular dishes served in Indian restaurants, Tandoori chicken, delights the tastebuds. Many people wish that they could make this dish at home to cut costs and enjoy its deliciousness at more meals.
This popular dish requires a lot of work to make. Most recipes require that you marinate the chicken for at least one day before cooking it.
The Wonders of a Tandoor Oven
Here’s the thing. To make Tandoori chicken, you need a Tandoor. Many people think that the dish draws its name from an area or region, but no. The term Tandoor refers to a traditional cylindrical oven that uses firewood or charcoal for heat. You can purchase modern Tandoor ovens that use electricity, but the dishes won’t taste the same because the electric versions use no flame.
Like a charbroiled hamburger tastes different from one baked in a convection oven, a dish prepared in a traditional Tandoor differs from that prepared in an electric one. That’s because the food gets cooked over an open flame when using a Tandoor and that flame heats up to 896 degrees Fahrenheit (480 degrees Celsius).
I want to preface every recipe with the statement that if you don’t purchase a traditional Tandoor first, no matter what you do otherwise in the making of the recipe, it won’t taste right. You won’t get the restaurant taste without the Tandoor.
Many geographical areas use the Tandoor which remains a common cooking element in the Middle East and Europe. The region of Punjab uses it and Armenia and Afghanistan do, too. Much more than chicken gets cooked in these ovens, including roti, naan, and Laccha paratha. The cooking method helps fat burn off of the chicken, while the meat retains more thiamin and riboflavin.
Let’s explore some of the tastiest recipes available and learn a few tips for creating the tastiest fruit salads available.
CUTLINE: Always feed your kitty cat (or dog if you adopted a canine) the first taste when preparing food in the Tandoor. Seriously, this gentleman shows the proper way to prepare the meat for the Tandoor, including a quick brine. He owns a gorgeous Tandoor that can handle four trays of meat at one time and an adorable cat who gets first dibs on the chicken.
1. Sheet-Pan Roasted Tandoori Chicken Recipe
The beauty about our first scrumptious tandoori chicken recipe is it doesn’t require many ingredients. The other benefit is it doesn’t take all that long to prepare and cook. The downside is it requires quite a bit of rest time so you need to plan aheaqd.
2. Traditional Tandoori Chicken on a Grill Recipe
This fabulous traditional recipe requires you to make the chicken brine 24 hours in advance. You prepare the yogurt mixture and coat the chicken in it the day before actually cooking the meat. Cooks throughout the world do it this way. Using this recipe lets you cook it on an outdoor grill though. It won’t taste like it does when properly cooked in a Tandoor though.
3. Traditional Tandoori Chicken in a Tandoor Recipe
Pick up the chickpea flour the next time you visit the grocery store and a bit of fenugreek for this recipe. You create a yogurt-sour cream mixture to coat the chicken, then marinate it for 24 hours before cooking it in the Tandoor on skewers. The coating contains cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, salt, cinnamon, garam masala, and cashew powder. Yum!
4. Barbecued Tandoori Chicken with Saffron Rice Recipe
You only need an outdoor grill for this recipe which you can also use with turkey, pork, beef, or fish. This does require a two-tiered charcoal fire to cook the meat. You can marinate up to a day ahead of cooking.
The chicken needs to marinate for a minimum of four hours before you can cook it. It only takes 13 to 18 minutes for it to reach the fully cooked stage though. The accompanying saffron rice cooks in a stock pot for about 20 minutes.
5. Greek Yogurt Sauce Tandoori Chicken Recipe
The minimum marination time for this recipe – six hours – ensures that the chicken soaked up enough of the spices and sauce to cook quickly while retaining moisture. You can’t shorten it to four hours like the other recipes. You can marinate the chicken for longer – for up to 48 hours. Prepare this recipe on the stovetop in a frying pan, by smoking the chicken, grilling it on an outdoor grill, or cooking it in an air fryer.
6. Quick Faux Tandoori Chicken Recipe
Here’s that one recipe with a relatively short marinating time. You can brine this chicken for just two hours, then bake it in the oven for 40 minutes. After that, it only needs two minutes in the broiler to crisp up. The longer you marinate, the better the taste, but you can approximate the taste of Tandoori chicken with this recipe.
7. Punjabi Chicken Tandoori Recipe
What you eat in your favorite Indian restaurant probably tastes like this traditional Tandoori chicken recipe from a chef in Punjabi, India. This recipe requires the chef to marinate the whole chicken twice. First, it gets marinated for one hour using a brine of salted chili lime juice.
The second marinade of yogurt and spices the chicken marinates in for a minimum of three hours. Place the prepared meat on skewers and cook in the Tandoor for 10 minutes. If you want to try this recipe in an oven, you cook it for 45 minutes at 356 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
Regardless of which method you use, at the five-minute mark of cooking it, you baste the chicken with refined oil, then continue cooking it. Serve it with sliced lime wedges and fresh onion, cut as rings.
8. Jamie Oliver’s Quick “Tandoori” Oven Chicken Recipe
Jamie Oliver categorizes this recipe as “super easy.” The chicken marinates for just under two hours minimum with an ideal marinade time of 12 hours. Prepared with a side dish of broccoli, you can put lunch on the table relatively quickly with this recipe.
The chicken cooks wrapped in tin foil, so it loses no juices. The chicken cooks for an hour and 20 minutes, but the broccoli only bakes for the last 20 minutes of that on a separate tray.
9. Oven-Baked Tandoori Flavored Chicken Recipe
Serve this quick faux Tandoori chicken with rice, lettuce, and naan bread. Marinate the chicken for one to two hours. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 40 minutes. The chef who created this recipe offers tips on which spices to use and how to change the spiciness and color of your chicken.
Some Tandoori chicken appears red, while others appear yellow. That’s a chef’s trick of either using more chili powder and cayenne pepper (red) or more turmeric (yellow or orange) in the marinade.
10. Archana’s Air Fryer Fake Tandoori Chicken Recipe
Using the air fryer saves this chef so much time that she has time to make vegetable biryani and mango salad, too. Marinate the chicken for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. It takes just 15 minutes to cook this recipe in the air fryer. Brush leftover marinade on the chicken before cooking it.
11. 37 Cooks Baked Chicken Recipe
Marinate this oven-baked chicken dish in a yogurt mixture for four hours, then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes, adding an onion when you turn the meat over at the 15 to 20-minute mark. Broil it for a minute or two after baking for crispness. Use two pounds of skinned bone-in chicken thighs for best results.
12. Nadiya Hussain’s Oven “Tandoori” Chicken Recipe
Chef Nadiya Hussain of Netflix’s “Nadai Bakes,” adapted this recipe from the traditional Tandoori Chicken served by her father in his restaurant. Pair it with her recipe for browned butter rice and a salad of apples and onions for a complete meal. You make the spice mix in a large batch, so you always have some on hand.
You’ll need ghee, a traditional Indian cooking fat, for this recipe. The recipe doesn’t require a long marination time. It’s roasted for 15 minutes, then coated in the marinade, and baked for 30 minutes at a lower temperature.
13. Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Recipe
This recipe works similar to the others in preparing the chicken for cooking, but it differs when you get ready to cook it. You add one cup of water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot, then place the trivet that comes with the pot in it. Place the chicken in the fryer basket and put it into the pot on top of the trivet.
Close the lid and cook the chicken on a high setting for 12 minutes. Shake chaat masala onto the chicken before serving. For crispier chicken, broil it for five to seven minutes after the Instant Pot.
14. Food Network’s Flexible Tandoori Chicken Recipe
The Food Network’s option offers the greatest flexibility of any of these recipes. Its chef prepared the recipe so you can make it gluten-free, tree-nut free, and peanut-free. Some recipes use spice blends that may contain some allergens or gluten, but this one avoids all of that.
Instead of Greek yogurt, it uses plain yogurt. It requires 2.5 pounds of chicken thighs and uses tomato paste, an ingredient not found in the other recipes. It only needs 15 minutes of marination time and cooks in just 20 minutes.
15. Toasted Coating Tandoori Chicken Recipe
The huge difference in this recipe comes from the ground spices. First, toast the spices, then mix your yogurt marinade. You know the drill by now – marinate it. This recipe takes three hours of marination at a minimum. You then bake the chicken at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes per side. Brush with oil as needed.
16. Daring Gourmet’s Tandoori Murgh Recipe
This traditional Indian recipe prepares the chicken with Kashmiri chili powder. Use this recipe for chicken for a tasty dish traditional to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This recipe stems from Delhi and you can also use it to prepare squash, potatoes, or tofu.
It needs to marinate for four hours and cook for 30 minutes. The prep time only requires 20 minutes. This hot and spicy version comes closest to what you’d get in a restaurant.
17. Keto Tandoori Chicken Recipe
Use full-fat Greek yogurt for this recipe that marinates for just 30 minutes for the first one. Like the completely traditional recipe above, this one uses two marinades, and the second one also needs at least 30 minutes. These chicken pieces roast for 30 to 45 minutes. This recipe makes four servings using 1.5 pounds of bird.
18. Tandoori Chicken Wings Recipe
Forget Buffalo Wild Wings! You can make these. Combine three pounds of chicken wings, four Fresno chiles, the typical spices for the yogurt sauce, and ginger. It’s a wings recipe, so you’ll throw in some cilantro at the end.
Marinate these wings for two to eight hours and make a tasty treat for game time. Before you cook them, you need to let the chicken sit at room temperature for one hour. Grill the wings, turning them every three to four minutes. Most wings take about 12 minutes to cook.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do you have questions about cooking in a Tandoori? You don’t know where to buy this stuff, but you really want to make this recipe? Read on! I’m answering those questions and others in this section.
Can you brine/marinate using frozen chicken?
Tandoori cooking requires thawed meats. You can’t take chicken or any other meat directly from the freezer and cook it in this way. Buy your chicken fresh and unfrozen, so you can cook it in this special oven. Every recipe uses fresh, thawed chicken so you cannot cook the frozen meat in the same amount of time.
For how long can you store this cooked chicken in the refrigerator?
Store the leftover chicken in a zip-lock freezer bag or airtight, sealed container. It will last three to four days when refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Reheat it in the microwave before serving.
How do I acquire these ingredients in a rural area?
You might not turn up ghee, basmati rice, or garam masala at your local grocery. Don’t despair. You can order these items from Walmart, Target, and Amazon for delivery to your home. Most of the online stores offer two-day delivery on dry goods, so you can order them ahead of time and store them in your pantry until ready to use them.
Where can you purchase a Tandoor?
Many online stores offer Tandoors for sale. You could purchase one from Amazon, Walmart, Target, or a specialty store. Many rural areas do not have a bricks-and-mortar store for this type of item, but you have one shipped to you via Federal Express or UPS. Tandoor ovens typically cost about $400.
Can you use any part of the chicken in these recipes?
Each recipe differs. It will note if you can substitute chicken legs for thighs or use chicken that has already been divided into quarters or smaller. Some recipes do require a whole chicken. These recipes won’t work with livers or other bodily organs.
To what temperature do I cook chicken legs?
Like other chicken recipes, you need to ensure that you cooked the chicken to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature before serving the chicken. Even if you have cooked it for the amount of time that the recipe calls for, if the thermometer reads less than 165 degrees Fahrenheit, cook it longer.
How do I get the charred marks on the chicken?
The char marks come from the grill the chicken cooks on. In a Tandoor, the heat cooks these marks onto the chicken. If you bake the chicken, you don’t get these. You can place a pan under the chicken and put the chicken pieces on the oven rack itself for the last minute or so. The last two minutes of cooking, you typically devote to broiling them.