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Tandoori Baked Chicken

Yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and traditional tandoori chicken masala deliver all the elements of truly great tandoori baked chicken recipe. This tandoori chicken cooks in an oven- and apart from marinating time, it will be ready and on your table in under an hour! 

A serving of our baked tandoori chicken recipe served with raita and roasted potatoes.
A serving of our baked tandoori chicken recipe served with raita and roasted potatoes.

Tandoori Baked Chicken

Tressa Jamil
We love get-togethers with family and friends, and our tandoori chicken is a perfect addition to any cookout, picnic, or backyard gathering. This recipe will show you how to make oven-baked tandoori chicken in under one hour!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Marinating Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the Tandoori Chicken Masala:

For the Tandoori Chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to garnish
  • ½ medium red onion, roughly chopped, plus sliced onion to garnish
  • 8 chicken thighs, drumsticks and chicken quarters

Instructions
 

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the ingredients for the tandoori chicken masala, and blend until smooth. Then, pour them into a mixing bowl
  • Make 1-3 small slits in each chicken piece, and then toss them in the tandoori chicken masala, along with the chopped onion. Stir to incorporate. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours but preferably 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° and then set the wire rack into a rimmed baking sheet; line the chicken onto it, leaving the excess marinade behind.
  • Cook for 25-35 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Check to make sure the temperature has reached 175 degrees. If you prefer a bit of char, allow the chicken broil for the final 5 minutes.
  • Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • To serve, garnish the chicken with cilantro, red onion, lemon wedges, and chutney.

Notes

  • Be sure your chicken thaws so the marinade can adhere to it; the same is true if your chicken is very wet. 
  • Slits in the chicken allow the marinade to penetrate and create more flavor. 
  • The longer you marinate, the more delicious your tandoori chicken is going to be. It should marinate for a minimum of 6 hours, but you can leave it for up to 12 hours for maximum flavor. 
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Chicken: I use bone-in chicken thighs, legs, and quarters. I suggest using chicken thighs as a boneless chicken option; you can use breasts also. Be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly; the safe temperature for chicken is 165 degrees.
  • Tandoori Chicken Marinade: Our chicken marinates in olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and ginger paste, to tenderize the chicken. The marinade unites with tandoori chicken spices for maximum flavor.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt marinates the chicken and creates the base for the masalas to adhere. For that reason, be sure to use full-fat yogurt. Any other kind will create excess moisture making it difficult to coat the chicken.
  • Tandoori Masala: I use a combination of salt, garlic powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, garam masala, and Kashmiri chili powder to season the tandoori paste.
  • Garam Masala: India is a large country with varying sub-cultures. As a result, Indian food differs from region to region. The same thing applies to specific spices used as well. For this reason, I suggest making garam masala at home, so you can control the amount of each spice used and cater it specifically to your preferences. Here is one of the garam masala spice blends we use in our home. If you choose store-bought, I suggest Rani garam masala.
  • Kashmiri Chili Powder: Kashmiri chili powder receives the utility player award for flavoring the masala and lending the beautiful red color you expect from tandoori chicken.

HOW TO MAKE BAKED TANDOORI CHICKEN

Blend the tandoori chicken masala.

STEP 1

In a blender or food processor, combine the ingredients for the tandoori chicken masala, and blend until smooth. Then, pour them into a mixing bowl.

Add the tandoori chicken masala to the chicken with slits in it.

STEP 2

Make 1-3 small slits in each chicken piece, and then toss them in the tandoori chicken masala, along with the chopped onion. Stir to incorporate. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours but preferably 24 hours.

Line a rimmed baking sheet and bake the tandoor chicken in the oven.

STEP 3

Preheat the oven to 400° and then set the wire rack into a rimmed baking sheet; line the chicken onto it, leaving the excess marinade behind.

STEP 4

Cook for 25-35 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Check to make sure the temperature has reached 175 degrees. If you prefer a bit of char, allow the chicken broil for the final 5 minutes.

A serving of our baked tandoori chicken recipe served with raita and roasted potatoes.

STEP 5

Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

STEP 6

To serve, garnish the chicken with cilantro, red onion, lemon wedges, and chutney.

Did you enjoy this recipe for baked tandoori chicken?

Check out more oven-baked favorites from Jamil Ghar!

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT BAKED TANDOORI CHICKEN

What is tandoori chicken?

Like our chicken karahi recipe, tandoori chicken gets its name from the equipment used to cook the chicken, a tandoor. The tandoor is a cylinder clay pot heated by an open flame, resulting in robust chargrilled chicken packed full of flavor from the masala and marinating process. Since a tandoor is something few people readily have in their kitchens, this recipe will help to deliver the same flavor right to your dinner table.


Can I grill tandoori chicken?

Follow the link below to try our grilled tandoori chicken!


What do I serve with tandoori chicken?


How can I store the leftovers?

Enjoy your tandoori chicken as soon as it cooks! If you’re anything like my family, there will be no leftovers. Should you have any, tandoori chicken keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze your chicken to eat later. First, allow the chicken to cool completely, then add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. The chicken will freeze for up to 4 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight. For best results, reheat the chicken in the oven to serve.

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