Wednesday 23 March 2016

Baked Tandoori Chicken Legs.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Just the thing for a grey Wednesday in March.

Seriously guys, has spring really sprung where you are?

Because it most definitely has not here. 

Alhamdulillah yes, we have had the obligatory cheeriness that is the blooming of my favourite flower - the daffodil. Nothing can beat its beautiful colour, in my opinion. Other than that, our trees are still bare, the sky is the usual grey and there is a very wintery chill in the air.
This is where these baked tandoori chicken legs come in very handy. They are just the thing for a busy day's dinner because you can marinade a day before, keep in the fridge overnight where the flavour will get even better and bake when needed. The roasting juices are kept to use as the best sauce/gravy and may I suggest a side of buttery mashed potatoes to help mop things up. Winter comfort food in the middle of March - you're welcome.

Baked Chicken, previously: sticky chicken and veggie bake // spicy harissa drumstick bake // Mums roast chicken

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Whole Chicken Legs
2. Salt
3. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
4. White Wine Vinegar
5. Lemon Juice
6. Red Food Colouring
7. Plain Yoghurt
8. Tandoori Masala
9. Garam Masala
10. Vegetable Oil
11. Cumin Seeds (unpictured but I did use them!)

Bismillah, let's begin!

Our first and really only job is to marinade the chicken. Take 6 Whole Large Chicken Legs, skinless and slit the meat with a sharp knife.

For the first part of the marinade, we'll be using salt and crushed red chilli flakes.

Sprinkle the chicken with 2 teaspoons Salt or to taste. Remember that chicken needs quite a bit of salt!

Followed by 4 teaspoons Crushed Red Chilli Flakes. Again, feel free to adjust to your own taste!

Pop on some gloves and rub the salt and chilli into the chicken.

Make sure to rub the seasonings into every part of each chicken leg.

Now, for the second part of the marinade, we will be using white wine vinegar, red food colouring and lemon juice.

Into a bowl, place 5 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar.

Followed by 5 tablespoons Lemon Juice.

And, 1 tablespoon Red Food Colouring. Add more if you want or leave it out - it's up to you!
Give this mixture a stir.

Then, to each chicken leg ...

... add a tablespoon of the mixture.

Using gloves again, rub the mixture into each chicken leg. Continue with the rest.

To the remaining vinegar and lemon juice that is left over, we will add the final ingredients of the marinade.

They are plain yoghurt, tandoori masala, garam masala and vegetable oil.

To the leftover vinegar mixture, add 170 ml Plain Yoghurt.

The main spice - 5 heaped teaspoons Tandoori Masala. Don't be worried - tandoori masala is more aromatic than actually spicy.

1 heaped teaspoon Garam Masala

Finally, a few tablespoons Vegetable Oil.

Give everything a good stir.

Take each chicken leg.

And, add a little of the marinade to each leg at a time.

Using gloves, rub in the marinade.

Continue with the rest of the chicken.

Pour any extra marinade into the chicken and rub in well.

And, our chicken is marinaded! 

Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and set aside to marinade for a few hours. We left it overnight in the fridge which was even better - the perfect meal prep!

When you're ready to bake, take the chicken out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking. This will get it to room temperature. We will also need more salt and some cumin seeds.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C Fan.

Line a large roasting tin with foil and grease it with a little oil. 

Arrange the chicken legs in a somewhat single layer.

Pour over any excess marinade from the bowl.

Sprinkle over Salt, to taste.

Along with 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds.

Then, take a piece of foil and tightly cover the chicken with it - tucking it in at the sides.

Finally, cover the tin with a second piece of foil. By using two pieces, we are ensuring that the chicken steams under the foil making it very juicy to eat.

Place the chicken in to bake for 50 minutes.

Then, take the tray out of the oven and uncover.

Take a jug or saucepan. We are going to drain out most of the liquid. 

Carefully drain out most of the liquid - it has done its job of keeping the chicken flavourful and juicy. 

Be sure to save the liquid though as it will make the best sauce to serve with your chicken. We left it as it was but if you want a more gravy-like consistency, feel free to thicken with cornflour.

Next, carefully turn over the chicken pieces.

Place the uncovered tray back into the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes - still at 200C Fan.

After the ten minutes, drain out the final bits of the liquid at the bottom of the tray.

Before popping it back into the oven, uncovered, for a final 5 minutes.

And, the chicken is ready! Do be aware that the cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken so adjust accordingly.
To serve, arrange on a platter and pour over some of those wonderful roasting juices.

Some fresh coriander would look lovely sprinkled on top - I didn't have any in at the time! Serve the chicken immediately with your favourite side dishes. We ate it with vegetable pulao but I think the best thing to mop up all those savoury juices would be mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Full Written Recipe:

Baked Tandoori Chicken Legs.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes + few hours or overnight, to marinade.
Bake Time: About 1 hour + 5 minutes.
Serves: Makes 6 large chicken legs.


For the Marinade
6 large Whole Chicken Legs, skinless
2 teaspoons Salt – or to taste
4 teaspoons Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
5 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
5 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Red Food Colouring
170 ml Plain Yoghurt
5 heaped teaspoons Tandoori Masala
1 heaped teaspoon Garam Masala
Few tablespoons Vegetable Oil

For Baking the Chicken
2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
Salt, to taste


For the first part of the marinade, slit the meat on the chicken legs with a sharp knife. Rub the salt and crushed red chilli flakes into the chicken legs – be sure to wear gloves when doing this.

For the second part of the marinade, mix together the vinegar, lemon juice and red food colour. Put 1 tablespoon of this mixture onto each chicken leg and rub in properly.

For the third part of the marinade, stir the yoghurt, tandoori masala, garam masala and vegetable oil into the remaining lemon juice and vinegar. Rub this entire marinade into the chicken legs.
Cover the bowl with cling-film and leave to marinade for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

Before baking, pre-heat the oven to 200C Fan. Line a large roasting tin with foil and arrange the chicken legs in a single layer. Pour over any extra marinade from the bowl. Sprinkle over the salt and cumin seeds. Cover with two layers of foil as shown in the picture recipe.

Baking time! Bake the chicken for 50 minutes then drain out most of the liquid. Turn the chicken legs over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for 5 minutes until fully cooked through.

To serve, place the chicken on a platter and pour over some of the roasting juices. Serve the rest on the side along with your favourite chicken accompaniments – pulao, mashed potatoes or Yorkshire puddings? Enjoy!

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Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your chicken,


Spice Enthusiast
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