Tandoori chicken is great. Stuffed tandoori chicken is even better!
You are going to love this recipe for stuffed tandoori chicken breasts. I don’t usually cook with chicken breasts as they don’t have the flavour that thighs do. Marinate and then fill those chicken breasts with the minced (ground) chicken stuffing and a piece of paneer and you are on your way to stuffed tandoori chicken heaven! I promise.
This stuffed tandoori chicken is awesome served with plain white rice or a flavoured rice. It is also good wrapped up in chapatis or naans with a little mint and coriander chutney. If you want to make this dish into a feast, try it with homemade poppadoms and chutneys as well as a few homemade samosas.
About this stuffed tandoori chicken recipe
There isn’t much to say really. One day I had a couple of large chicken breasts and everything I needed to make the marinade. I didn’t want to just make chicken tikka so decided to get some minced chicken out of the freezer and prepared this recipe for my wife and me.
It was so good, we decided it simply needed to be shared with you! The hot and soft paneer really takes the recipe to another, very delicious level but you could leave it out.
Is this recipe difficult?
It’s a bit fussy but difficult no!
You will need either toothpicks or a couple of long wooden skewers to secure the stuffing in the chicken but that’s about it. You really can’t go wrong as the stuffing tends to stay in place even without the help of the toothpick or skewers.
Can you work ahead?
Yes. Tandoori chicken benefits from a long marinating time. You can marinate the chicken a good day or two ahead of cooking.
The same holds true for the ground chicken stuffing. You can prepare that a day or so ahead of cooking too. Then just assemble it all and cook.
If more convenient, you can assemble everything so that it is ready for cooking earlier in the day. Then just bring it all out and cook.
Do you have to cook this stuffed tandoori chicken on the barbecue.
No! I like to do that because the smoke adds a delicious flavour. You could also cook these in the oven on a baking tray.
Just cook at the same temperature as in the barbecue recipe.
Can you upscale this recipe to serve more people?
Yes and it’s easy. Just double or triple the recipe to serve more people. In fact you could make as many of these stuffed tandoori chicken breasts as will fit on your barbecue or in your oven.
Can you freeze this tandoori chicken?
Yes but it is best to cook the chicken and then freeze it. Dairy such as yoghurt doesn’t freeze well. Neither does the paneer.
How long will the prepared stuffed tandoori chicken last in the fridge.
That obviously depends on the freshness of the ingredients you’re using but generally speaking, 2 to 3 days.
How do you reheat the cooked tandoori chicken?
The easiest way to do this is in your microwave. Just place it in the oven and cook for a few minutes until heated through.
Better would be to heat it up in your pre-heated oven at about 200c/400f. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes if reheated from room temperature or a little longer if reheated right out of the fridge.
Do you have to use chicken with the skin on?
Nope. Tandoori chicken is usually prepared with skinless chicken. I just like the crispy skin so I left it on this time.
The stretched skin also helps secure the stuffing inside.
- Use the freshest chicken you can get your hands on. This also applies to the other ingredients.
- Be sure to use large chicken breasts. Smaller chicken breasts, though they will work, will not be nearly as impressive.
- Be sure to rub any excess marinade off the exterior of the chicken before cooking.
- Allow to rest for about 5 minutes after cooking for the juiciest results.
Step by step photographs
- 2 large chicken breasts (approx. 700g/1 ½ lbs) skinless or skin-on
- 4 tbsp melted ghee for basting
- FOR THE FIRST MARINADE
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 2 tbsp mustard oil or rapeseed (canola) oil, I use mustard oil
- FOR THE SECOND MARINADE
- 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp paprika or more chilli powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp tandoori masala
- FOR THE FILLING
- 250g (1/2 lb) minced (ground) chicken
- 1 large bunch coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- 3 – 6 green fingerer chillies, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 100g (3.5 oz) paneer
- Slice pockets in the chicken breasts lengthwise being careful to to butterfly them. You want a pocket for the filling but the breasts should still be intact. The larger you can make the pockets without slicing through the exterior of the meat, the better.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the first marinade ingredients together and then rub this marinade over the chicken breasts and inside the pocket. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes for best results or just carry on with the recipe.
- Whisk the second marinade ingredients together and then rub this marinade all over and inside the pockets of the chicken breasts. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the filling or leave for up to 24 hours to marinate. The longer the better.
- To make the filling, place the minced chicken, coriander (cilantro), chillies and salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until well combined. This can also be done by kneading it all on a plate. The chicken should take on the green colour of the coriander (cilantro) and chillies. Set aside.
- Now looking at the pockets you made, slice one or more pieces of paneer, into thick, long pieces, the same length as the pocket. Divide the stuffing in half and place the paneer on top. Then encapsulate the paneer inside the meat stuffing. Don't worry too much about perfection here. It will work even if it looks a mess!
- Set up your barbecue for indirect heat cooking. You are aiming for a cooking temperature of 220c/428f. Once your barbecue is up to heat, secure each chicken breast with a couple of toothpicks to keep the filling in place and put the chicken breasts directly on the cooking grate over the cooler side of the cooking surface. Close the lid and cook for about 40 to 60 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If you have a meat thermometer, your chicken is cooked when you have an internal temperature of 74c/165f.
- Once cooked, allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serve with the lime wedges or coriander chutney.
If using a meat thermometer to check the temperature, run it down the center of the breast, avoiding the stuffing inside. The stuffing will cook quicker so you are really just gaging the temperature of the breast meat for doneness.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 3275mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 18g