This Tandoori Chicken is a quick version of a traditional tandoori marinade. It’s not as fiery red as the classic tandoori recipe, but it tastes amazing all the same. The lemon and the yogurt... tenderize and flavor the chicken most deliciously. Leave the chicken to sit in the fridge to marinate as long as you can, even all day. If you can’t, an hour will do just fine.
Make the marinade: In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, turmeric, cumin, sweet paprika, ginger, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped cilantro if using. Set aside.
Pat the chicken dry and cut into 8 pieces. Use a knife to slash the thickest parts diagonally a couple of times. This will let the marinade penetrate the flesh.
Lay the chicken in a dish in one layer. Pour the marinade over the chicken and turn to coat. Leave the chicken to sit in the marinade for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator, turning the pieces every so often to make sure they are marinating evenly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat the grill or the broiler. Brown the skin of the chicken pieces, basting with marinade, and turning until well browned.
Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven, basting with the remaining marinade, for 10-14 minutes or until the juices run clear. When the chicken is ready, transfer to a warm dish, cover, and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.