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broiled chicken
Chicken, Main Dishes, Spicy

Broiled Tandoori Chicken

by Nick

If you’ve ever been to an even half-way legit Indian food joint, you will have probably seen a large open oven in the back that’s red hot. Daredevil cooks will be sticking their arms into it — pushing in breads and meats and pulling out beautifully charred food.

It’s called a tandoor and I want one. It’s kind of like a pizza oven except roundish and the hole is in the top of it. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that you need to make them yourself which is possibly a project I’d be willing to undertake if I owned the place I was living.

I have a feeling though that my landlord wouldn’t be thrilled if I constructed a large clay pit in the backyard just so I could make na’an.

But have no fear. We can make really good tandoori chicken in the oven with a broiler, or on the grill.

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Broiled Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken, bone-in.  I like chicken thighs and legs.
  • 2 Cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 inches, fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 Serrano peppers, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

1) Mince (or chop in a food processor) the garlic, ginger, and peppers until they are a rough paste.

2) Combine paste with yogurt, lemon, oil, and spices.

3) Marinate chicken in yogurt mixture for at least an hour but preferably 4-6 hours.

4) When ready to cook, wipe off excess marinade and lay chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet.

5) You can either grill the chicken on high heat until charred and then move to low/indirect heat or broil for 6-10 minutes on high until charred, then finish cooking in a 350 degree oven.

6) Serve chicken with steamed veggies and/or rice.

Prepping the Marinade

This dish is based around a yogurt marinade which a lot of Indian food uses. The yogurt keeps the meat really tender.

To start, you need a lot of garlic, ginger, and chilis.

marinade veg

Lotsa flavor here.

Mince these all up very finely. It actually works best if you have a small food processor that you can whiz them up in. You want to make sure that it’s almost a paste in consistency.

This is about perfect.

paste

The paste.

Then you need some other very flavorful spices. If you can, try to use whole spices and grind them yourself. That’ll result in the best flavor, but using ground is just fine also.

other spices

You’ll want these guys too.

Mix the yogurt, with the pepper-garlic-ginger paste along with all the other spices. Add in the lemon and oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add your chicken to this mixture and make sure the chicken is really covered in the marinade.

Let this marinate for at least an hour, but preferably a few hours. I let mine sit in the fridge for about 5 hours and it was good.

marinating

All mixed up.

Cooking the chicken

You have some solid options for cooking the chicken. First, you could grill it. I just got a grill actually which I’m super-excited about. I would go the grilling route if you can.

Second, if you don’t have a grill, you can broil it. Turn your broiler on hi and then line a baking sheet with foil. Wipe off the marinade and set the chicken, skin side up, on the baking sheet. If you removed your chicken skin, then just throw it on there.

You should still have a pretty good coating of marinade on the chicken.

chicken

What? You don’t have a tandoor oven?

Cook this under the broiler until the chicken is nicely charred, probably 6-10 minutes depending on how awesome your broiler is.

Then turn off the broiler and finish the chicken in a 350 degree oven until the chicken is done, probably another 15 minutes.

You’ll end up with some beautifully charred chicken.

broiled

Nice and charred.

I served the chicken with some steamed snap peas and brown rice that I cooked with a few Teaspoons of turmeric. The rice wasn’t quite as flavorful as I had hoped, but I just drowned it in chili garlic sauce anyway.

The chicken was very crispy and still really moist on the inside.

finished dish

Finish with some colorful stuff.

I think this would be a great dish for someone who wants an intro to Indian flavors. The ingredients are pretty simple so you may just have to pick up a few extra spices.

Even though I can make this in the broiler or on the grill, I still want my own tandoor…

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11 comments on “Broiled Tandoori Chicken

  1. I once tried to stick naan dough on the roof of my pizza oven… Not only did I completely burn all the hair off my hand, but the naan half didn't stick, and half got all dirty and gross, and the part that did stick ended up stuck there for months. Nice recipe though, I love when indian chicken is marinaded in yogurt.

    oh, and since you are sort of a bread wizard, naan is actually pretty easy at home if you have a nice cast iorn you can use almost like a pizza stone. I have some pics, but a pretty poor description http://www.thefoodinmybeard.com/basics/naan.html

    1. Ha! I've tried to make na'an before with decent results, but I'll try it out. I can totally see myself trying the pizza oven fix.

    1. It's in your spice aisle most likely. It's actually just a blend of like 8 different spices so some people (Dan from above) make it from scratch. I haven't quite gotten there yet. Most supermarkets carry it these days though.

      1. You could see if there's an asian market near you. I went to mine and it's like the dollar tree for herbs and spices. It is a little scary as to how and why they are so cheap but the selection is amazing! Looks great Nick!

  2. If you're ever curious to really try a tandoor rig at home, check out Alton Brown's good eats episode o n curry

  3. I am trying out this recipe right now, but instead of all the spices from scratch, if you ever head to a Pakistani or Indian grocery store you can find Shan brand of Masalas and look for “Tandoori Masala”, I also added a bit of red food coloring.

    Hope this turns out good! Will update you all.

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