Recipe: Tandoori-Style Chicken Sandwich

Recipe: Tandoori-Style Chicken Sandwich

I just adore Indian food, but I’ve never had the courage to try to cook it at home—UNTIL NOW!

I was inspired by a recipe for tandoori-style chicken in my Everyday Food magazine recently because it looked awfully easy, not to mention cheap. The recipe calls for a whole chicken, which (since I try to only buy organic free-range chickens) is a TON cheaper than chicken breasts or even boneless chicken thighs. (A whole conventional chicken is cheaper than breasts or thighs, too.)

The recipe delivered, with a super easy and very delicious meal.  Everyone loved it, including my toddler!  But I had half a chicken left over when we were done.

So, I decided to use one of my own cardinal rules and reinvent my leftovers as tandoori chicken sandwiches.  One word: YUM.

One of the easiest ways to stretch your food dollar when you’re shopping organic on a budget is to repurpose your leftovers in creative ways.  It’s fine to serve the same thing more than once, but it’s way more fun to get creative.  This chicken got me three meals, plus I’ll use the scraps and carcass to make stock which will go into a fourth meal.

Not bad for one chicken.

I created a yogurt sauce similar to the marinade for the chicken (never re-use marinade that has been in contact with raw meat) and even drizzled on a healthy dose of some Thing With A Zing—a chutney made locally here in Colorado!  DE-licious.  And what a great way to use up leftovers, too.  In fact, I wish I had some MORE leftovers in the fridge; just talking about this sandwich is making me hungry!


Recipe: Tandoori-Style Chicken Sandwich

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: serves 4–8

Serving Size: 1/4 chicken

Calories per serving: 599

Fat per serving: 34

Cook up this easy tandoor-style chicken for dinner one night, then use the leftovers for an awesome pita or wrap sandwich.


    For the chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), quartered
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 T peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • For Sandwiches:
  • 2 large whole wheat pita breads, halved and warmed
  • 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp powdered garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce and tomatoes
  • chutney (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)


  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large zip-lock bag. In a blender or food processor, blend yogurt, onion, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, and oil until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the marinade into the zip-lock bag with the chicken and shake to coat. Let the chicken marinate at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, or up to one day.
  3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a jelly-roll pan with foil and place a metal cooling rack on the pan. Place the chicken on the rack, skin-side down. Roast until charred spots begin to appear on the chicken, about 35 minutes, flipping once. Reduce heat to 450, and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more.
  4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.
  5. For Sandwiches:
  6. Dice leftover chicken into bite-sized pieces and warm if desired. Mix yogurt and spices together in a small bowl. Open each pita half to form a pocket and fill with chicken, lettuce, tomato, and yogurt sauce. Top with chutney and cilantro, if desired.


Your butcher can quarter the chicken for you if you aren’t great with a meat cleaver. This is a great dish for introducing Indian food to children (or adults who are wary of Indian cuisine!), as it isn’t spicy at all, and the chicken is moist and tender. Nutrition info is for chicken only. The sandwich, as described above, is 11 ppv, using ? of the chicken. Nutrition Information: Serving size: ¼ chicken Calories: 599 Fat: 34 Saturated fat: 9 Carbohydrates: 8 P+Value: 7.5 ppv Fiber: 1 Protein: 63

The nutrition information for this one is figured using full-fat Greek yogurt, so you could definitely shave off some calories (and some points!) by using fat-free yogurt.  This is also figured assuming that you will eat the skin of the chicken, since that’s where all the marinade-y goodness is, but if you have an IRON WILL and can remove the skin, that could lower the calories as well.

A note on serving size: we got two adult-size servings (and one baby serving) of chicken for one meal, and then four pita sandwiches (and chicken for baby) for two more meals from a standard 4-pound chicken.  Don’t forget to save your bones and carcass for stock!

I’m sharing this recipe with Real Food Wednesday and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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