Tandoori Fried Chicken

Photo: Christopher Testani
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 day 40 mins

Instead of cooking the chicken in a traditional tandoor oven, we pan-fried ours in a cast-iron skillet. Cool off with a side of cucumber spears and a salad of red onion, mint, and cilantro for a flavorful dinner.


  • 12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • Tandoori Marinade for Chicken

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

  • ¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • ¾ cup fresh mint leaves

  • Cucumber spears, for serving


  1. Make a few slashes in meat side of each thigh. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine chicken and marinade, turning to coat. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 2 days.

  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. In a large straight-sided skillet (preferably cast iron), heat 3 cups oil (it should be about 1/2 inch deep) over medium-high until a thermometer registers 350 degrees.

  3. Working with 6 pieces at a time, remove chicken from marinade, wiping off excess with a paper towel. Dredge in flour mixture and add to skillet, skin-side down. Partially cover and fry until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes a side. (Adjust heat to maintain oil temperature between 330 degrees and 350 degrees; do not let it go over 350 degrees, and return to 350 degrees between batches.) Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined plate; place in oven to keep warm.

  4. Mix together onion and lime juice; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and herbs. Season with salt. Serve chicken, with onion salad and cucumbers.

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