Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken…one of the most ubiquitous of Indian dishes and yet one that is intimidating to make at home unless you own a Tandoor, a cylindrical clay or metal oven that can reach temperatures of 900 degrees fahrenheit. However, once we got the idea in our head that we wanted to make Tandoori chicken at home we could not be stopped. So we did some research and learned that you can mimic a Tandoor using a charcoal grill (or even an oven if you don’t have a grill.) We marinated our chicken in a vibrant mixture of yogurt and a litany of spices and let it marinate for about 6 hours. Then we used our makeshift tandoor to grill up the most succulent, juicy and flavorful chicken that our grill has ever seen. We paired our chicken with basmati rice pilaf, naan, raita, and cilantro-mint chutney for an Indian feast that we will definitely be making again. If you thought you couldn’t make Tandoori chicken at home, try this!

Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Rampant Rose, 2017
Rating 12.0 out of 10.0

Yes, this is our homebrewed Rosé! We used this kit and have been impressed with the outcome. It’s not too sweet which is a must for me in a Rosé and is juicy and fruity while being crisp and refreshing. The prominent notes are pineapple and peach with raspberry and cherry. Rosés are great to pair with most spicy Asian or Indian dishes and the Tandoori chicken was a great match (if we do say so ourselves!)

Nathan’s Beer Pairing: PC Pils, Founder’s Brewing Co.
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.0

This lightly hopped pilsner was a great pairing with the crispy grilled tandoori chicken. It is nice and light like an american lager to wash down the spicy grilled meal but with just enough hops to accentuate the flavors.

Tandoori Chicken:

Adapted From this recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Marinating time: 6 hours
Yield: Serves 4-6


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons salt
4 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs)


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pan over medium heat, then cook the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, cayenne, garam masala and paprika, stirring often, until fragrant (approximately 2-3 minutes). Let the spices cool for approximately 10 minutes.
2. Whisk the cooled spice-oil mixture into the yogurt, then add in the lemon juice, garlic, salt and ginger. Whisk well.
3. Cut deep slashes (to the bone) in 3-4 places on the leg/thigh pieces. Coat the chicken in the marinade, cover and chill for 5-6 hours.
4. Prepare your grill so that one side is quite hot over direct heat, the other side cooler, not over direct heat. If using charcoal, leave one side of the grill without coals, so you have a hot side and a cooler side. If you are using a gas grill, just turn on one-half of the burners. Use tongs to wipe the grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil.
5. Take the chicken out of the marinade and shake off the excess. Put the chicken pieces on the hot side of the grill and cover. Cook 2-3 minutes before checking. Turn the chicken so it is brown or even a little charred on all sides
6. Move chicken to the cool side of the grill. Cover and cook for at least 20 minutes, up to 40 minutes (or longer) depending on the size of the chicken and the temperature of the grill. Make sure the chicken is about 165 degrees fahrenheit. Serve with naan, basmati rice (recipe follows), cilantro mint chutney(recipe follows), and yogurt sauce (recipe follows).

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