This Indian-inspired whole roasted tandoori chicken seasoned liberally with a homemade tandoori masala spice mix turns out juicy and tender with the crispiest skin imaginable! The best thing? You don’t even have to marinate the chicken before baking!
This quick roast tandoori chicken recipe is one of my favorites to pull out when I’m in the mood for a BOOST of spice and roast chicken comfort. As a bonus, it doesn’t take longer than 45 mins start to finish, so it’s a win-win! No special ovens needed, no hours of marinating, just easy straightforward spices! Serve it up with a fresh tangy yogurt dip with garlic and herbs to cool your palate.
Yes, another roast chicken recipe! I have a thing for roast chicken. I mean who doesn’t and I have a thing for a whole roasted chicken.
I think it reminds me of my grandma’s cooking and big family gatherings. These memories are priceless. And I’m getting a bit carried away right now, because I miss all of that!! I miss my family too much!
Why this recipe for Quick Roast Tandoori Chicken works:
This roasted tandoori chicken recipe is one of my mom’s favorites. My dad is not a “spicy” anything person, just a mild touch and he will detect it right away. So for him, I use minimal to no chili flakes at all—which still makes this a DELICIOUS roast tandoori chicken!
It’s all about the flavors here, the spice is a compliment—a much-needed compliment for me, but feel free to adjust it to your taste. And don’t forget we’re making a really refreshing yogurt garlic and herb sauce alongside, which is perfect to cool down your palate.
How to make Whole Roast Tandoori Chicken:
So let’s start with the yogurt dip to serve with the Roast Tandoori Chicken. It’s simply a combination of Balkan- style yogurt with a pinch of salt, a pinch of lime juice, a clove of garlic and plenty of fresh herbs. Plenty.
I used chopped mint, parsley and dill. All in equal amounts. And I tasted every single one of them. If you’ve missed this Turkish style chicken skewers recipe, that’s another fabulous way to cool off your spicy meals.
Now on to the tandoori chicken. So, it’s no secret I’ve butterflied the chicken again. A simple trick that I mentioned in details in this easiest garlic herb roast chicken post with step by step photos.
This easy method helps you roast a whole chicken in about 40 mins. It’s one of those easy tips that usually trigger reactions like—“why didn’t I ever think of this before!?” and “That’s it, it’s that easy?”. So really, again, it’s a win-win!
You can definitely use cut up chicken pieces or your favorite pieces of chicken for this tandoori chicken recipe. I just have a thing for a whole chicken.
I love to have the option of mixing my flavor spice mix and rubbing it all over the chicken, then roasting it right away. I have nothing against marinating, I just love having both choices, and depending on my time I can pick which one to go for.
So in order to roast this tandoori chicken right away, we’re adding a TON of flavors. All in my handy tiny food processor—which I adore! It whips up marinades, sauces, pestos, everything!
So I add all ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth, then rub it all over the chicken and in between the skin and flesh of the chicken.
After that, my fabulous roast tandoori chicken hits the oven, while I quickly make my yogurt sauce, heat up my naan bread and prepare the mood for some seriously flavorful chicken dinner!!
Now, on your next trip to the grocery store make sure to pick a nice whole chicken, bring it home and make this quick roast tandoori chicken—enjoy! 🙂
Tips for success:
- To speed up my roasting time, I sear the chicken on both sides for 2 mins per side only—this perfects my crust on the chicken and jump starts my roasting
- Keep 1/4 cup of the spice mix aside to pile over the chicken after it’s been seared—this creates a nice crust on the chicken when it roasts.
- Just before placing the chicken in the oven, I throw in a sliced onion and thin slices of lemon for more flavor!
Quick Roast Tandoori Chicken
This Indian-inspired whole roasted tandoori chicken seasoned liberally with a homemade tandoori masala spice mix turns out juicy and tender with the crispiest skin imaginable! The best thing? You don't even have to marinate the chicken before baking!
- 1 whole chicken , about 5-6 lbs, butterflied (see step by step photos in this easiest garlic herb roast chicken)
For the spice mix:
- 1 red onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoon garam masala spice
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes (more or less to your taste, or omit all together)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint and parsley leaves 1:1
- 2 limes juiced
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoon canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
For the yogurt sauce:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs (one herb or a mixture of herbs—I used parsley , mint and dill
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small food processor, process all the ingredients for the Tandoori mix until smooth.
- Butterfly the chicken (photos and details in this easiest garlic herb roast chicken). Rub the tandoori mix over both sides of the chicken and in between the skin and flesh of the chicken. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the tandoori mix and set aside.
Preheat a cast iron (or any oven-safe skillet) over high heat, add in the oil.
- Add the chicken (breast side down) into the hot skillet and sear it for 2 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear it for another 2 minutes, then flip it back again.
- Pile the 1/4 cup of the tandoori mixture over the top of the chicken and spread it evenly over the chicken.
- Scatter the onion and lemon slices around and underneath the chicken then take the skillet into the oven and roast it uncovered for about 40 minutes (depending o the size of your chicken, and up to 45 mins). When putting the skillet in the oven, make sure the chicken thighs are towards the back of the oven while the chicken breasts are towards the door (as there is less heat towards the oven door).
- When the chicken is ready (the thighs should register 170 degrees with a meat thermometer), cover it lovely with aluminum foil for 8 mins and then serve it.
- For the yogurt sauce: Mix all ingredients together, adjust salt and serve alongside the chicken.