Tandoori Chicken is a classic Indian dish full of fragrant aromatic spices. It’s one of Kevin’s favorite indian dishes, and he doesn’t usually like Indian food so this one must be special. Kevin’s dad actually used to go outside and make it on the grill for him in the dead of Canadian winter. So why mess with a dish that’s already so good? Well, we were originally testing this recipe for large gatherings so that we wouldn’t have to worry so much about the cook time. We wanted to par cook it, but not worry so much about over cooking it when we warm it back up.
For this recipe we used boneless, skin on, chicken thighs. We kept our skin on, but you should probably remove it. The skin makes it harder for the marinade to adhere when grilling, and sometimes slips off when moved on the grill. You don’t want to end up with a big white spot on your tandoori chicken! You can definitely do this with bone in thighs, or chicken breast.
In the bag we went with salt, lemon juice, garam masala, and Kashmiri chili powder. Originally, we were going to keep it simple and just add all the flavour after cooking, however in a test they turned out more bland than the one with seasoning in the bag. The marinade flavors came through, however, the chicken inside was not as flavourful. Yes, duh, obviously, but it was a big enough difference to stand out.
After all these years, this was Kevin’s first time making his own marinade. At his parents place, the tandoori paste was always there ready to go. Sometimes it was even brought all the way from India in batches by friends and family. How do you even bring that back? Do you just have a tub of it in your suitcase?
As with many other Indian dishes, the spices are plentiful. The Kashmiri chili powder adds the colour and a bit of a fragrant kick. We skipped out on the food coloring here as we prefer to keep it “ au naturale”. Since through the sous vide the meat was already tender, we didn’t use as much yogurt as you traditionally would. The little bit was just to elevate the dish and add a slight tang and “creaminess”. Each of the spices bring it to a new level, feel free to adjust to your liking. We like a bit more cumin, so we go a bit heavier on the cumin when we make it for ourselves.
Get down and dirty with the meat and marinade, use your hands, but wear gloves. Kevin’s hands were a tinge of orange from not wearing gloves. Get the marinade into every crevice. You can also slice or score the meat a so the flavour gets down deeper.
We set this aside and throw it on the grill when we’re ready to go.
Get the grill smoking hot, you just need to warm the chicken a bit, set the sauce, and get a little bit of a char (not burn!). Place the chicken on the grill and let one side set keeping a close eye, flip it over and get a good char on the other. You can flip as many times or as few times as you like. It’s already cooked perfectly in the sous vide so you don’t need to keep it on there for very long.
You’re going to be able to smell the fragrant spices right away! The aroma is simply amazing when cooking this.
To serve, we garnish ours with cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with homemade naan. If you want to make your own naan too, check out our IGTV post.
If you like heaps of flavours and spices, check out our Spicy Chicken Pakora.
Sous Vide Tandoori Chicken
Sous Vide Bag Marinade
- 600 g Chicken Thighs
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Plain Yogurt
- 1 tsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Minced Ginger
- 1 tsp Tumeric Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Kasoori Methi
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Oil well coated
- Raw Onions
- Set the sous vide to 155F (68C).
- For the chicken, you can choose to remove the skin so the flavor penetrates better. If not it’s totally fine as well.
- In a bowl, mix together the chicken thighs, lemon juice, garam masala, kashmiri chili powder, and salt. Rub the spice on both sides of the chicken. (Tip: wear gloves so your fingers don’t turn red!)
- Place into a vacuum bag and sous vide for 1.5 – 2 hours.
- Place finished chicken in an ice bath to cool down. Remove from bag.
- Add the rest of the marinade on the chicken and coat it well.
- You can either finish these on the grill or in the oven. Cook until a nice char forms. Serve with raw onions, cilantro and lemon.