Tandoori Style Whole Chicken || How to roast a whole Chicken
Cook time
Total time
Whole chicken marinated with ginger, garlic and a blend of indian spices and cooked to perfection!
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 10-12
  • 1 whole chicken about 5 lbs (if your chicken is a bit bigger or smaller than this, then adjust quantity of spices and amount of time in the oven accordingly)
For the brine:
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • whole spices - 2 bay leaves, 1 star anise, 10-12 whole black pepper, 2 one inch cinnamon stick, 3-4 whole cloves
  • ⅓ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (optional)
For the marinade:
Brining the chicken:
  1. The chicken should brine for anywhere between 8 to 12 hours. So about 36 hours to 24 hours before serving the chicken, take the chicken out of the freezer and thaw it either at room temperature (it will take around 4-6 hours) or in the refrigerator (about 12 hours). Once the chicken is at room temperature, you can place it in the brining liquid and keep it back in the refrigerator for another 6-10 hours.
  2. Take the insides of the chicken out (you can reserve them for cooking later or discard)
  3. In a large stock pot, warm the water and add all the whole spices and the salt and the maple syrup (if adding). heat the water only for 5 mins or so until warm. no need to boil. Then turn heat off and let the water cool a bit and come to normal room temperature. Now place the whole chicken inside the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and place inside the refrigerator for anywhere between 6 to 10 hours.
Marinating the Chicken:
  1. About 6-8 hours before placing the chicken in the oven, take it out of the brining liquid and pat dry using paper towels. Discard the brining liquid and the spices.
  2. Make 6-8 slight superficial cuts on the skin of the bird on the breast side as well as the back side. This will help the marinade spices to penetrate inside the skin and into the meat.
  3. Now take the marinade paste and using your hands gently massage it onto the chicken everywhere including the inside cavity.
  4. Place the chicken on a baking tray or any other platter and cover with foil. place it back in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or even up to 6 hours)
Baking the chicken:
  1. About 2½ hours before serving time, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 mins.
  2. Pre heat oven to 425 F. Take an Al foil roasting pan and brush with olive oil. Place any vegetables you want to cook along with the chicken onto the pan (I use a mix of onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots). Sprinkle with sea salt.
  3. Now you can place the marinated chicken directly onto the vegetables in the pan or place a roasting rack over the vegetables and place the chicken on top of the rack breast side up. Brush the top of the chicken with olive oil. Place the roasting pan into the oven. Let the chicken bake for 30 mins at 425 F.
  4. Now take the roasting pan out and flip the chicken over carefully (this step is optional) and again brush with oil and also baste with any juices that are in the pan.
  5. Now lower oven temperature to 375 F and let the chicken cook for another 35-40 mins. Again take the pan out and brush with oil. Sprinkle with some extra Kashmiri chilli powder on top and spread with the brush. Place back in the oven and continue baking for another 20-30 mins until all the outside looks well-done and crisp.
  6. Then take the pan out. If you had flipped the chicken before, now turn it back breast side up. Turn oven to Broil and place the roasting pan with the chicken on the upper half of the oven so as to get the chicken some nice chars on the top. Broil for 5 mins (keeping the chicken at least 2 inches below the flames).
  7. Take the chicken out of the oven and remove the roasting rack (if using ) and place chicken directly over the vegetables. Cover the roasting pan with Al foil and let the chicken sit for 20 mins.
In general, cooking time is around 20 mins per pound of chicken. So if you are chicken weighs 5 lbs, you need to cook for a total of 100 mins or 1 hour, 40 mins. you can also use a meat thermometer and check to see if the temperature inside the middle of the chicken is around 140-160 F which means it is cooked thoroughly.
Recipe by Cook2Nourish at https://cook2nourish.com/2019/11/tandoori-style-whole-chicken-how-to-roast-a-whole-chicken-indian-style.html