I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am lazy about marinating. Heck, most of the time I am lazy about marinating. Sometimes, it’s too much to be organized enough to have a marinade ready to go the day before, sometimes it’s even too much to have it ready a few hours before dinner!
But for once, I managed to. Oh. My. Gosh. The first bite of this chicken was amazing. My husband took a bite, looked at me, and said, “What is this?” He had that kind of look on his face, like…why have you not made this before? This is why you marinate.
Yes, you do have to get organized enough to get it ready 12 to 24 hours before you are ready to cook, but the tandoori marinade goes together so easily.
Ingredients in Tandoori Chicken
- Ginger - fresh is best, however you can use ground ginger.
- Yogurt - I use a full fat Greek yogurt.
- Cayenne pepper - adds some heat!
- Ground coriander.
- Ground cumin.
- Onion - yellow or red will work.
- Chicken - I like to use legs or thighs, bone in. You can use whatever pieces of chicken you like, though bone in breasts will take longer.
How to Make this Easy Tandoori Chicken
You begin by processing the marinade ingredients in the food processor. I usually leave the garlic cloves whole, cut the ginger into slices, and quarter the onions. It only takes a minute or two to make a smooth-ish liquid paste.
Place the chicken pieces in a shallow dish that holds them all snugly. Pour the marinade over the chicken turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
Note - I have marinated this for as little as 4 hours and it was still good!
If you remember, you can turn the chicken halfway through marinating. Sometimes I do and more often I don't!
About 30 minutes before you are ready to roast the chicken, take it out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on it. Lay the chicken pieces on the rack. You want air to be able to circulate all around the chicken, so don't crowd the pieces.
Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the chicken and roast for 15 minutes more. Note - I didn't turn mine (are you noticing a pattern here!)
This easy chicken recipe is so good! I found this marinade in 2012 in my copy of How to Cook Everything, and I've been using it ever since.
I've tried more complicated marinades, but this simple marinade is my favorite!
A tip for upping the flavor even more is that sometimes during the last 15 minutes I had lemon wedges to the rack. Squeeze some of the lemon on the chicken as you serve it, so good!
More Easy Roasted Chicken Recipes
If you love fried chicken, but hate the mess, you're going to love this Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken!
Please don't let my old photos dissuade you from making this Piri Piri Chicken. It's another flavorful marinade that's out of this world!
Finding other ways to enjoy tequila besides a margarita makes me happy. This Tequila Lime Chicken will make you happy too!
If you make this I would love it if you would follow me and tag me on Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook
Easy Tandoori Chicken
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and lightly smashed
- ½ inch ginger root peeled (or 1 teaspoon ground)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 8 chicken legs or thighs
- Place all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor and process until fairly smooth.
- Place chicken in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade. Turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours (turning once if you'd like.)
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to begin cooking, take the chicken out the fridge to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on it. Place the chicken on the rack.
- Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.
This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for 2019.
I also have never been much of a marinating girl because of the time involved. But it sounds like it really made a difference with this recipe. I'm totally willing to give it a try for some moist and delicious chicken.
This added great flavors to the chicken I made last night, will be saving this and using it again!
I'm the same way, never have my act together enough to marinate my chicken but you are right, it's so worth it! Love the flavors in this chicken!
Alisa Infanti says
OMG this recipe was so good and easy to make! I needed a new chicken recipe and this is the best one I have tried yet!
Such awesome tandoori flavours. I love all the spices.
These lip-smacking dry chickens look so yummy and exploding with flavors. I can't wait to try these drumsticks shortly.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
So nice to be reminded that tandoori chicken marinade does not have to include red food coloring, as it does in so many Indian restaurants.
i feel like i read somewhere that at a certain point, no more marinating is done (a saturation point?), so depending on the meat and marinade, an hour might be enough. that might've been a lie, though. 🙂
Looks delicious! I think I'm going to try this marinade!
gonna try it!!! Thanks!!!
O....M....G! My mouth is watering, I'm lookin' for chickin' and it's only 8:30 AM. Darn!
I am SO bad about marinating also...who has that much time and focus to be organized? I wonder how this would be on paneer or tofu...