My parents are Indian immigrants, and lucky for me, they passed down their heritage through food. When they threw parties, dozens of rice and curry dishes covered the table. But what the guests always reached for first was tandoori chicken — smoke-kissed and tangy, moist and tender.
The acidic yogurt in the marinade helps to tenderize the chicken. Yogurt’s thickness also helps the tandoori spices cling to the chicken and flavor the meat.
You can use chicken breasts or thighs, bone-in or boneless. I prefer boneless because they lie flat against the grill and are easier to eat. Remove the skin to let the marinade soak in. Trim the chicken of most of its fat if you want, but do leave a little: it’s vital for moistness and flavor.
Grilling tandoori isn’t hard, but there are some essentials for moist, juicy chicken.