Boneless Tandoori Chicken Tikka Recipe
Boneless skinless chicken pieces are marinated with tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, and other Indian spices which brings this tasty dish together in minutes. You can marinate this easy boneless tandoori chicken tikka recipe overnight or for a quick 30 minutes. Either way, it takes minutes to cook on the stove, which is the perfect modern option compared to a traditional tandoor oven.
Boneless Tandoori Chicken Tikka
Tandoori Chicken was given its name because of the way that it is cooked. A clay oven regulates temperature and cooks the meat giving it a smokey flavor with a tender result. Although, it would be ideal to make Tandoori Chicken in a tandoor oven. It is not something most kitchens or even Indian kitchens readily have. For that reason, this stove top method works fast and well.
If you want to have a smokey flavor added to your tandoori chicken, a pinch of liquid smoke will do the trick very easily. An alternative method would be to heat a coal and then place the coal in a small tray inside a bowl where the chicken is being marinated while trapping the smoke with a lid. None the less, this recipe tastes great even without the smoked taste. So be sure to give this quick and easy boneless tandoori chicken recipe a try!
How this recipe came about
Historically tandoori chicken has been around for ages! My recipe came about when I was in college and inspired by my aunt. She made a variation of this tandoori chicken tikka dish for an appetizer at her house one day and it was delicious! I had to ask her how she made it and it seemed too simple not to recreate. Considering it took a few ingredients and could be made in a matter of minutes I was sold on the meal. It quickly became a favorite of mine and my friends. I made it so often, I eventually got tired of smelling it. For that reason, I started to switch up a few spices and wrapped it into what I came to know were called “frankies”.
I had no idea what a franky or even a khati roll was until much later in life. I was also not a fan of eating a paratha as a wrap since it is packed with calories I wasn’t trying to consume. My version was definitely a lot more health cautious. Dare I call it a taco because lets be frank (haha), just because it is wrapped in a tortilla does not make it a burrito or taco! That also does not mean you can’t eat this on Taco Tuesday, because you totally should! THE. END.
Whether it’s Tuesday or Saturday, this particular recipe should be on the menu every week!
Meal prep this tandoori chicken recipe
This is a great meal to prep ahead! You can choose to marinate the boneless tandoori chicken or you fully cook it on the day you have time. I love adding bell peppers and onions to my tandoori chicken, so it is always great to have those ingredients on hand either pre-chopped or mixed with the tandoori chicken and ready to go. Either way you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
How to warm up leftovers
Hands down, this recipe tastes great hot and right off of the stove. However, if you are planning to eat it during the week, then a quick warm up in a microwave brings the dish back to its juicy state. You can also warm it in a convectional oven, just be sure to cover the dish fully when heating to keep the juices trapped inside. I can’t say this enough, if you are looking for a quick and easy recipe then this should be on your list ASAP!
What can I eat this chicken tikka recipe with?
Here is a list of a few ways I like to enjoy this recipe:
- Topped on a bed of rice with cold raita
- Wrapped inside a tortilla with raw onions, cilantro, and a cilantro cream sauce.
- On top of a bed of lettuce, with ranch, raw onions, and croutons.
Is this Boneless Tandoori Chicken Recipe spicy?
Regardless of your spice level, this dish can fit many different spice tolerance tastebuds. If you want it to be less spicy, then add less ginger, garlic, and tandoori masala. Feel free to add more or less red chili powder based on your preference.
How can I get my chicken to be juicy?
If you are new to cooking chicken, then I highly recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. The reason, they really are hard to dry out when it comes to meat consistency. A pinch of baking soda will also help tenderize the meat. I advise a small pinch and mix it with the chicken right before cooking it instead of adding it during the marination process.
How can I make this meal in under 30 minutes?
I sometimes forget to marinate or simply just don’t have the time to do it ahead of time. For that reason I will marinade a quick 15 minutes and start the cooking process right after. While the chicken and veggies marinate + cook, I get the sides and other dishes ready. I even try to set the table along the way as long as I don’t get caught off guard during the process. Some things I like to serve with this dish include basmati rice, warm tortillas, cilantro sauce, raita, onion salad, papad, ranch dressing, and spicy jalapenos.
How can I get my tandoori chicken to be more red?
The color of your chicken will vary based on the type of pre-made tandoori masala you use. I prefer to use ones without synthetic coloring such as Rajah Brand. It has very little color additives, but there are plenty of versions out there which are clean. Be sure to check your local Indian Grocery store to see what they carry. If you prefer to add a natural bit of color to your tandoori chicken, then try adding a little bit of red beet puree. It will have a slight flavor but you will also get the color you like. However, if you are going for a bright red tandoori chicken, then Swad Brand Masala will be your friend!
PERFECT CHICKEN RECIPE FOR WRAPS!
Let’s Get Cooking
- boneless skinless chicken (breast or thighs) based on preference
- chopped bell peppers
- chopped onions
- yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk
- tandoori masala (I love Rajah Brand)
- red chili powder
Mix the ingredients together and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 24 hours. When you are ready to cook the chicken, let it rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Begin cooking the chicken by heating a generous amount of oil in a bottom heavy non-stick or cast iron pan. Place the chicken in the pan covering as much surface as possible. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes without mixing it. After a few minutes, take a spatula and gently flip the chicken over. Let it cook again for a few minutes. Now mix and combine until the chicken is fully cooked.
Step by Step Pictured Instructions
Quick and Easy Stove Top Boneless Tandoori Chicken
TANDOORI CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into pieces, chicken thighs can be substituted for easy juicy chicken
- 3 tbsp yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk
- ½ bell pepper, cut into large pieces
- ½ onion, cut into large pieces
- 2 tbsp tandoori masala (more or less depends on your spice level)
- 1 tsp ginger paste (more or less)
- 1 tsp garlic paste (more or less)
- red chili powder
- oil to stir fry
- salt to your taste
- meat tenderizer (optional), I use a pinch of baking soda
- handful chopped cilantro as garnishment
- lemon for garnishment
TANDOORI CHICKEN METHOD
- Combine chicken, tandoori masala, yogurt, ginger, garlic, salt, bell pepper, onion, red chili powder (optional), meat tenderizer (optional) and salt. If using baking soda be sure to add it right before cooking and not during the marinating process.
- Refrigerate the chicken for up to 1 day. If you don't have time to marinate and want to eat it ASAP, it is okay to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Let the chicken set at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking. Add a pinch of baking soda at this point (if using).
- Heat a wide heavy bottom pan on high heat and add a generous amount of oil.
- Once the oil is HOT, add the marinated chicken mixture into the pan and spread it across the entire bottom surface of the pan. Let it cook for about 3 minutes without stirring. (KEY TIP: DO NOT COVER OR STIR)
- Take a spatula and flip the chicken over the best you can. Let it cook for an additional 3 minutes. (KEY TIP: DO NOT COVER OR STIR until the second side has cooked through)
- NOW stir the chicken and cook until no longer pink. Feel free to cover the pan with a lid at this point for a minute or two.
- Mix in a handful of cilantro.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, raita, and choice of side (see ideas in the post).
- For milder spice use less ginger, garlic, tandoori masala, and red chili powder.
- Serve with ranch dressing, cilantro sauce, or your favorite raita.
- Works well with salads, wraps, with naan, or rice.