Pepper Delight

Tandoori Whole Chicken Roast

Juicy and Succulent Whole Roasted Chicken… Spiced in a Tandoori Masala & Served with a Mint Chutney…! Happy Thanksgiving…!!

I know I have been preaching Tandoori recipes a lot lately! In fact my recent Tandoori Salmon recipe post turned out be such a hit among my family and friends circle, that I have become pretty obsessed with it. So, as I was finalizing my menu for this year’s thanksgiving holidays, I thought of doing an Indian version with all the masala flavours and aromas to rekindle my vacation memories back home. I did not do a turkey this year, as chicken being a perfect replacement for small family gatherings, suited mine as well.

So how do you like your chicken cooked; with a crispy skin or both charred and crispy? Well I always prefer the latter, and for sure when it’s with a tandoori marinade. Tandoori dishes have to be charred on the surface, as that tells that it has been cooked thoroughly in the clay oven. And no matter how burned the skins looks, the inside is soo moist n juicy. And when paired with mint chutney, it’s a match made in heaven!!

The secret to a moist chicken is the overnight marination in buttermilk. Buttermilk tenderizes the chicken and makes the meat soft and moist. So, plan your Thanksgiving cooking accordingly, with the prep a day in advance.

There is no better combination than Mint Cilantro Chutney for any tandoori dishes. It’s fresh n minty flavours perfectly blends with the smoky juicy textures, you can also serve with Saffron Rice, Naan/ Roti, and a yogurt salad for a full-fledged feast…


Happy Cooking n Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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5 from 1 vote
Tandoori Whole Chicken Roast
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 12 mins
Total Time
1 hr 32 mins
Juicy and Succulent Whole Roasted Chicken… Spiced in a Tandoori Masala & Served with a Mint Chutney…! Happy Thanksgiving…!!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Akhila
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp oil
For the Tandoori Marinade
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (crushed)
  • cup yogurt
  • Juice of a half lemon
  • Salt (as required)
For the Stuffing
  • 1 lemon (make small slits on lemon)
  • ½ inch sized ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
For the Mint Cilantro Chutney
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • Juice of half lime
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 small onion/1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 garlic
  • Salt (as required)
For the Tandoori Chicken
  1. Take the whole chicken and remove its giblets and pin feathers, clean inside out and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients of the Tandoori Marinade listed above, in a small bowl.
  3. Reserve a fourth of the marinade for basting later, and rub the rest generously over the chicken, inside its cavities, and gently under the loose skin.
  4. Refrigerate the chicken and the reserved marinade overnight, preferably 24 hrs.
  5. Before cooking the next day, take both out from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for at least half an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degree F.
  7. Stuff the chicken cavity with lemon, ginger and garlic. Tie the legs together with a kitchen twine, and tuck the wings behind by lifting the tips up and over the back.
  8. Place the chicken breast-side up on the a roasting pan/iron skillet greased with cooking spray.
  9. Bake for an hour and 12 minutes in total, basting it at 15 minutes intervals with the reserved marinade and dripping sauce from the chicken. Drizzle oil over the chicken after half an hour.
  10. Towards the end of the cook, check the skin for its browning/charring and measure the internal temperature of the chicken to reach 165 degree F.

  11. Remove from the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

  12. Dispose the stuffed ginger and garlic from cavity; squeeze the lemon (stuffed inside the cavity) over the chicken before serving.

  13. Serve with Rice, Naan/Roti, Mint Cilantro Chutney, & Salad.

For the Mint Cilantro Chutney
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add salt as needed.

1. You can also prepare this recipe with a store bought tandoori masala from your local Indian/Asian grocery store/World Market, or prepare it at home yourself as per the instructions above.

2. Vary the amount of red chili powder and black pepper powder used in the tandoori marinade to suit your spice levels.

3. The garam masala I have used in my recipe has been bought from an Indian store (Sakthi garam masala). You can also use a homemade masala which is preferable.