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Whole Chicken Tandoori on Akorn Jr.


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TLDR version: Buy a cheap $5 whole chicken from Aldi, they're way bigger than Costco's roti chickens. Spatchcock it, very important (Step 2). Marinade with Shan Tandoori Masala + required ingredients (Step 3) and throw it on a Kamado style grill @ 375-400° (indirect heat w/ drip tray) til thighs probe 175°.


1). Go to Aldi and buy a Whole chicken, they cost anywhere from $4-6. A good $5 or $6 one is ideal. They're bigger than Costco's precooked roti chickens.

2). IMPORTANT: Spatchcock the chicken as per Kenji's demonstration here. This key step allows the chicken's thighs to hit necessary 175°+ without the breast getting overcooked. Also, to aid marination: score the chicken with a sharp chef's knife several times on each breast, and once/twice on each drum.

3). Get yourself some Shan Tandoori Masala mix, any Indian store in the country should have this. Alternatively, you can look up a spice mix recipe for Tandoori Masala if you have a fully array of Indian spices already. Notice the ingredients required in the link. Plain yogurt can be subbed with greek yogurt, or sour cream in a pinch. Highly recommend ghee for the oil (clarified butter). Also, you can add red food coloring for that restaurant look.

4). Mix up masala as per instructions into a thick paste. Spread thoroughly all over chicken, forcing marinade into scores you made as well as under any loose skin from scoring. You could also inject a bit of excess marinade into breasts if you want. Marinade chicken in fridge for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

5). Keep any unused marinade on bottom of your marinade container for basting near end of cook. Fire up Akorn and aim for 360-390° (e.g. aim for 360-375 if your chicken is huge), use indirect heat AND a drip tray, I use BBQube Heat Deflector + a square drip tray. Cook until thighs reach ~175° (or a tad more). You can optionally ramp up temp to 400 near the very end (last few degrees) of the cook depending on charring progress.


Pretty much the best whole chicken recipe on the planet. Only downside is definitely keep the grill running afterwards to burn off any marinade drippings, otherwise marinade drippings that missed the drip tray can lead to acrid smoke on your next cook. However, people with Kamado style grills larger than the Akorn Jr may be able to catch 100% of the drippings with a larger drip tray.


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