Who doesn’t love roast chicken? It’s one of the simplest yet most rewarding chicken dishes that I can think of. I’m also Indian so Tandoori Chicken is something that’s near and dear to my heart. I could honestly write sonnets about the bold and complex flavors of tandoori masala. So why not combine them? This is by no means an authentic tandoori recipe. Traditional tandooris are made in a tandoor which is a cylindrical wood or charcoal fire oven. But it’s still a really flavorful twist on a classic roast chicken that’s sure to be a hit.
Tandoori is one of the more ubiquitous Indian spice blends and for good reason. It’s the secret behind a good 6 – 10 dishes at any Indian restaurant. From tikkas to butter chicken, it’s the flavor that most people think of when they think of North Indian food. Everyone has their own blend and you should definitely adjust the amount of chili powder to suit your level of tolerance.
How to Make Tandoori Spiced Roast Chicken
To make the masala, combine 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground clove, 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek, 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. You can substitute with 4 teaspoons of a commercial garam masala but it’s so worth it to make your own. The spice mix should be warmed in a dry pan until it’s aromatic, keep an eye on it because it burns very easily.
Mix the toasted spices with 2 teaspoons of tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of thick plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard, 1 teaspoon of minced ginger, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. This forms the tandoori paste which should then be rubbed all over the chicken and left to marinate.
This recipe is definitely a plan ahead one as it does require marinating the chicken with the tandoori paste for at least 4 hours, you would get the best results from leaving it overnight. You should also leave the skin on because it seals in all the juices. Be sure to cover every crevice with the paste and if you can try rubbing it in under the skin – that really takes it to another level.
Before roasting you should allow the chicken to come up to about room temperature. I find this gives a more tender chicken, leaving it out for about an hour before roasting usually works for me. Stuffing the cavity with herbs and orange slices is also highly recommended.
I roasted a whole chicken for convenience but you can definitely do it with whatever pieces you like best. The spice blend would make an absolutely divine twist on hot wings!
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons of thick plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 whole chicken
- whole herbs
- orange slices
- melted butter
- Combine the spices for the garam masala and toast until aromatic.
- Mix the spices with the ingredients for the paste and set aside.
- Wash a whole chicken and pat dry. Make shallow cuts in the skin to help the marinade really penetrate into the chicken.
- Rub the marinade all over the chicken and leave to marinate for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place chicken in a roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the whole herbs and orange slices.
- Cover with aluminium foil and place in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Return uncovered to the oven at 450 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes or until the skin is nicely browned and the internal temperature at the thickest part is between 165 - 175 degrees.
- Serve immediately.