Tandoori chicken is a really popular dish, and food good reason. It’s tender, juicy and full of flavor.
I think it’s fair to say tandoori chicken is probably one of the most ordered dishes at any Indian restaurant (alongside butter chicken). It’s typically marinated with yogurt and spices and then baked in a tandoor aka a clay oven. If you are dairy-free, you can use coconut milk in place of yogurt (you won’t taste the coconut – it just helps tenderize the chicken the way that yogurt does).
When you’re following a clean/real food diet, ordering from an Indian restaurant is risky. I feel like most places use artificial coloring and who knows what other ingredients…
Not in the mood for some red #40 with your chicken? Same. No amount of paprika can get you that restaurant shade of red but here’s how I add a natural reddish hue to my tandoori chicken: make a couple deep incisions on each drumstick and then with a spoon, add a mixture of paprika, salt and lime. Do this before adding the marinade and you’ll get a redder color than you would otherwise. Additionally, this will help get more flavor into the chicken.
When you blend your marinade, it should have some texture. You don’t want a completely smooth paste. Texture will make your chicken look a little more authentic and you’ll be able to better taste some of the individual flavors in the marinade. Once the chicken is well coated, add a couple tablespoons of mustard oil on top. This will give the chicken a nice sheen and add a touch of tanginess to the dish.
I would marinate this chicken for 30 minutes in the fridge, then bring it to room temp and then pop it in the oven.
When you take a bite of this chicken, you’ll see that it’s just as good if not better than what you’ll get in any restaurant.Print
- 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks, skin removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ lime, juiced
- 8 garlic cloves
- 2 inches ginger, roughly chopped
- ½ lime, juice
- 4 tablespoons of coconut milk, use cream from the top of a can of refrigerated full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4 cardamom pods
- 5 cloves (whole)
- 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil
- Rinse chicken and remove skin. With a sharp knife, make 2 deep incisions in each drumstick and cut tendon on drumstick.
- Make a spice paste by combining salt, paprika and lime juice in a small bowl. Rub the paste into the cuts in chicken.
- While the chicken is absorbing the flavors from the spice paste, coarsely grind your coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom and cloves in a spice grinder.
- In a blender, add garlic, ginger, lime juice, yogurt (or coconut milk), salt, paprika, cayenne and the freshly ground spices. Blend together and add mixture to the chicken. Once the chicken is well coated, add a couple tablespoons of mustard oil on top.
- Place the chicken in refrigerator to marinate for about 20 minutes. Take out of fridge and bring to room temperature before putting in oven.
- Place the drumsticks on a wire rack sitting on top of a foil lined pan.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees on the convection setting and cook for 20 minutes or until done.