Tandoori roast chicken

Use this spicy marinade on a whole roast chicken or a mix of drumsticks and thighs for a less formal event. The yoghurt based mix will tenderise the meat and protect it from the heat. Spicy, delicious messy finger food.



800g pack chicken drumsticks
800g pack chicken thighs (fat on or skinless, bone in)

Marinade One

175 ml natural yoghurt
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
50g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons groundnut or vegetable or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 x ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup or puree
50 g cheddar cheese, grated
1 x ½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Onion Gravy

1 ½ large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
175 ml chicken stock (you may need more if it dries out)

To Finish

1 x Sea salt
1 handful of torn fresh coriander leaves


1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a non metallic bowl.

2. If using chicken thighs with skins, trim any excess fat using a sharp knife.

3. Sit the chicken pieces in a dish in a single layer.

4. Pierce them several times to allow the spices to penetrate the meat.

5. Pour the marinade over the meat. Turn and rub it in until everything is well coated.

6. Wash your hands well. Cover the dish with clingfilm. Chill overnight or for at least 3 hours.

7. Remove and let the meat return to room temperature for 30 minutes.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

9. Peel then slice the onion into thick rings. Scatter them over the base of a roasting tin or dish.

10. Sit the marinated pieces on top of the onion. Pour half your stock around the meat. If using skinless thighs you can pour a few drops of oil over the meat.

11. Put the tin into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes. Add a little more stock and spoon it over the chicken if it looks dry. You don’t want the onions to burn but you don’t want your chicken to stew. Cook for a further 20 minutes.

12. Check the meat for doneness. Chicken needs to be white all through but still moist. Cut it with a sharp knife to check. Leave the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes in a warm place.

13. Sprinkle with sea salt. Scatter some torn fresh coriander over the dish.

14. Pile the meat onto rice with the onions from the tin. Enjoy with honey mint raita, fresh lemon wedges, mango chutney, hot naan bread, crispy shredded iceberg lettuce.

Cook's Tip

You can use the same marinade on chunks of chicken breast. Skewer it up then brush with oil and grill, turning frequently, until cooked through.  Serve in warm wraps with chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, mango chutney and raita.  Or marinade a whole small chicken for a really impressive meal.

Recipe taken from:

VIRGIN TO VETERAN by SAM STERN, published by Quadrille (£20, hardback)

Serves: 4-6

4 stars

Average user rating Based on 3 ratings