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  • Recipe Room  »  Bill McKibbon's Tandoori Yogurt Chicken



    • 1 whole chicken, weighing about 1.5kg, cut into 8 pieces and skin removed
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • juice of 1 lemon

    For the yogurt marinade

    • 500ml Greek yogurt
    • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    • 1–2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
    • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 2 teaspoons garam masala
    • red food colouring (optional)

    To serve

    Bill McKibbon’s Tandoori Yogurt Chicken


    I love India. The noise, the colour, the goodness of the people, and the food all attract me. I love the vegetarian food of the south, especially Kerala, but I’ve never really learned to duplicate my favourite of all (the dosa) at home.

    Madhur Jaffrey, whose recipe I’ve adapted here, was instrumental in introducing Americans to good Indian food, and I’ve always been grateful.


    Using a sharp knife, cut deep slashes into the thickest parts of the chicken, but do not cut as far as the bone. Place the chicken pieces into a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt and lemon juice. Rub well all over the chicken. Set aside for 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, make the marinade. Place the yogurt, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric and garam masala into a liquidiser or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the red food colouring, if using.

    Rub the marinade into the chicken, rubbing it well into the slits in the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to 24 hours.

    Preheat the grill to high or light a barbecue. Cook the chicken for about 20–25 minutes, turning regularly, or until it is thoroughly cooked, there is no pink flesh and the juices run clear. Scatter with fresh coriander leaves and serve with wedges of lemon or lime.


    SHARE: Foreword by Meryl Streep edited by Alison Oakervee, published by Kyle Books, RRP $39.99. Photo credit: Philip Webb

    Tips and Tricks

    • Alternatively, use 8 large chicken pieces such as thighs, drumsticks and breasts.

    • FoodWise recommends free-range and organic purchases where possible to ensure the highest possible standards of animal welfare.

    • Extra yoghurt needn’t go to waste – try using it in place of some of the oil in cake recipes. This works especially well with chocolate or coffee cakes.

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