Grassland Beef - U.S. Wellness Meats
  1. Discover Blog
  2. /
  3. Diet
  4. /
  5. Paleo
  6. /
  7. Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

chicken recipe

Recipe & Photo courtesy of Russ Crandall, The Domestic Man

This grilled chicken recipe comes from South Asia and has uses native Indian spices to bring out an amazing flavor. The name, Tandoori, comes from the traditional clay ovens used in South Asia. 

This delicious dish is courtesy of Past Featured Chef Russ Crandall of The Domestic Man. If you’re looking for an great kitchen companion, Russ recently published his 3rd cookbook, The Heritage Cookbook with over 300 traditional recipes from every corner of the globe.

heritage cookbook

US Wellness Shopping List: Pastured Chicken

Servings: 4
Time: 45 minutes + overnight marinade


1 whole (3-4 lb) chicken
1 cup full-fat yogurt (coconut yogurt okay)
2 tbsp avocado oil (olive oil okay)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp achiote/annatto powder (for color, optional)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cloves

to serve:

1 sweet onion, sliced
1 batch basmati rice
1 lemon, cut into wedges
fresh cilantro

Recipe & photo courtesy of Russ Crandall, The Domestic Man


1. Break the chicken down: cut out the backbone, the cut away the thighs and legs. Cut and split the breasts down the center. Remove all of the skin from the chicken, except for the wings because that’s basically impossible. Cut each breast into three chunks – one chunk that has the wing and some breast meat, and the other two should be cut from the remaining breast piece. You should have six breast pieces, two legs, and two thighs. Make ½”-deep scores across the meat, every two inches or so (or about two scores per piece) — this will help the marinade penetrate the meat. Save the backbone for a future broth-making adventure.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, oil, and all of the spices and stir until they are well-mixed. Toss the chicken into the bowl and toss until the chicken is evenly coated. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and marinate overnight.

3. Set up your grill for direct, medium-high heat cooking (you should be able to hold your hand about 5″ over the grill grates for about 3 seconds). Place the chicken on the grill, bone-side down, and grill for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and grill until the breast pieces reach 145F and the thigh pieces reach 160F, about 10 more minutes. Rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

** This recipe works well with individual pieces (split breasts, chicken thighs, drumsticks), if you aren’t interested in breaking down a whole chicken. You can also just spatchcock (remove the backbone) the chicken and grill it as-is, although the marinade will not as easily penetrate the meat. I like breaking down a whole chicken because it’s economical, leaves you with the most surface area for the marinade, and lets everyone fight for their favorite piece of chicken.

For more about the historical background of this recipe and even more insightful information and cultural recipes, check out the original post on Russ Crandall’s blog, The Domestic Man

Russ Crandall

Meet The Chef

A big US Wellness thank you goes out to Russ Crandall, The Domestic Man. At his blog, you’ll find gluten-free and Paleo-friendly recipes. His recipes focus on classic, traditional, and international dishes from a historical, linguistic, and cultural perspective.

Check out his cookbooks! Russ released his debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table: Paleo Recipes for a Traditional Lifestyle, in February 2014, and his second cookbook, The New York Times-bestselling Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites without the Junk, in June 2015. His most recent cookbook was released May 1, 2019, The Heritage Cookbook.