January 21, 2017

Tandoori Fried Chicken

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Happy FRYday, friends! Although I’m writing this so late from the west coast that it will surely be Saturday before you read it.

In the spirit of doing things more quickly and confidently (really, I guess that just translates to more efficiently), I’m writing you a quick hello before I sink into painting for the evening.

I was running a bubble bath (like I do most nights) but then started perusing art blogs while it filled up and was struck with sudden inspiration to take out my paintbrushes.

It’s funny, painting is something I really, deeply enjoy to my core but it is something I make so little time for. Sitting down in front of a blank canvas terrifies me.  Sometimes I do an underpainting (which for me, is just un-whiting the canvas by painting the whole thing another colour), then by the time it dries, I get anxious and stash it in the closet for another day.

Why? I think simply because not doing something is easier than doing something. Staring deeply at a candle from a hot, soapy tub is decidedly easier than the self-discipline it takes to activate my brain. Same reason so many novels go unread and a mountain of dishes often greet me in the morning (wait, no, that last one is just l?a?z?i?n?e?s?s?  exhaustion). But doesn’t it feel so much better to do something?? Paint something? Read something? Go to the yoga class? Yes.

So I moved the candle from the bubble bath to my kitchen table and I am totally going to paint tonight.  But first, I really want to share this tandoori-marinated fried chicken because it’s amazing and because I reeeeeally wanted to say FRYday.

Fried chicken is really deceptively easy and quick. Like, 10 minutes for juicy, bone-in meat. All your friends will be super excited and impressed with you, and they don’t have to know how easy it was.

I cut up a whole bird and let it sit in a delicious Indian-spiced yogurt mixture for the first half of the day.  I’ve had it in my head for a long time that this would be a delicious thing to do, and guess what? It is. I served it with Samosa Potatoes (!!!) which was another recent brain-child that I can’t wait to share with you.

The only note I have about the chicken is DO NOT FORGET to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you intend to fry it. If you don’t let it come to room temperature, it will get really dark on the outside before it is cooked on the inside.

My Indian husband loved the heck out of this, FYI.



Tandoori Fried Chicken

Crispy-crunchy Indian fried chicken with an tandoori-spiced yogurt marinade. Pretty darn irresistible.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jennifer Pallian


For marinade:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces (I halve the breasts to make everything similar sized) OR 2 lbs bone-in chicken pieces

For coating:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt


  1. In a shallow baking dish, stir together yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt and spices. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken and stir to coat. Allow chicken to marinate at least 2 hours (up to 24 hours).
  2. Bring chicken to room temperature before frying (that means taking it out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior).
  3. Meanwhile, add all ingredients for coating into a large zippered freezer bag and shake to combine.
  4. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350ºF, or 3/4" deep in a large cast iron skillet. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire cooling rack on top.
  5. Remove chicken a piece at a time from the marinade, letting excess drip off. Add chicken to the bag with flour mixture and shake to evenly coat. Cook chicken in two batches, flipping once, until golden brown and cooked through (165ºF internal temperature), 8-12 minutes. Transfer to wire rack in a single layer. Serve hot, or cool completely on the wire racks before refrigerating for a later picnic.
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Hi, I’m Jenn! I’m in the Foodess kitchen making a spectacular mess + making something delicious, in roughly equal parts. So happy that you’ve joined me!


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