Oxymoronic Tandoori Chicken Sous Vide

The Oxford English Dictionary describes an oxymoron as: “A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.”

Yet, here I am with as oxymoronic a dish as one could think possible. And to add to the culinary confusion, I froze it too. I suppose, to avoid accusations of culinary cultural appropriation, I should call this Oxymoronic Tandoori Style Chicken Sous Vide, Kindah. but, that’s to long for a headline and also “kinda” looks kinda Indian when it’s written down adjacent to Tandoori. But, I digress.

Here’s what I did. It went down a treat when we eventually got to eat it. A while ago, I made up some Tandoori spice mix. I have been storing it in the freezer as an experiment in keeping the spices’ flavour. It was time to try it out this seemed like a worthy approach.


  • 9 or 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons of tandoori spice mix – Mine is here.
  • 3 tablespoons of plain natural yoghurt
  • Juice of a lemon

I mixed the last three ingredients together to form a thick paste. This is full of lovely flavours. I then poured it over the chicken thighs and rubbed it well into the flesh.

It really is a thick goo of a paste. Such flavour!

Next I spooned the mixture into a vacuum bag (or ziplock bag if you have them handy). If you are a cheapskate like me, you will not have a chamber vacuum and need to use the “off the shelf” method of vacuum sealing. Using a standard vacuum sealer, this involves hanging the bag off the shelf before hitting “Vacuum Seal” on the unit. It works for me.

“Off the Shelf” was never taken so literally.

I threw the bag into the sous vide at 75ºC for an hour. After this I shocked it in an ice bath before putting the bag into the freezer. It resided there for a couple of weeks. I defrosted the chicken in the fridge overnight before putting it in a tray in the oven at 240ºC fan, for ten minutes.

Side note on cultural culinary appropriation: I cooked this in the oven because I do not have a tandoor (traditional Indian clay oven). So, I suppose calling it “tandoori” is a bust. But, I have slyly used the word “style” in my description so I think I get off that particular hook. I have no excuse for the “Kinda nonsense above.

I served it with a handful of salad, a beer and some coriander and butter naan breads. They benefited from a squeeze of lime too. Despite their oxymoronic cooking methods, they tasted great. They had a nice slightly burned edge to the sauce that stuck to the chicken. The chicken itself was delightfully tender and it went very well with the glass of cold beer and naan breads. The salad was there for form. I couldn’t detect any degradation from the time in the freezer too, so cooking in batches could be a good thing.

As good a bite to eat as one will appropriate anywhere.

In summary, I think I have proved that it is not moronic to be a bit oxymoronic occasionally. This one worked, for sure. Give it a go.

Written by
Latest comments
  • Being an Australian, I always thought an oxymoron was an Irish welder.
    We live and learn.

  • Oxymoronic or not, that’s my kind of meal. We’ve used your tandoori spice BBQ method several time with great success. Alas, no sous vide apparatus in our house. But, your idea of freezing was brilliant. Now you got me thinking about a sous vide cooker, again. Hum, I’m thinking Christmas list.

  • Might be oxymoronic, but it will be at our table soon – I make a similar recipe, also sous-vide, but with chicken breasts and served very saucy. Your version with chicken thighs appeals even more to me, and the idea of freezing it and enjoying it later after a quick last minute prep… is awesome!

  • I’m currently enjoying the benefits of finding a truly excellent, award-winning Indian restaurant here at home, finally. Until the novelty wears off, I shall enjoy NOT cooking Indian food for myself 🙂 When the day comes, I shall come back to this post…

  • I’ve only just begun to explore Indian cuisine. This looks delicious!

      • The flavors are there, right? That’s what matters. You took it an ran with it. 🙂

  • OK ! Cancel ‘oxymoronic’ methinks it does not apply from my meagre knowledge of Queen’s English ! (Apologies – forgot you were Oirish !) Cancel ‘sous-vide’ with humble apologies to Stefan and you: am not there yet ! Love anything ‘tandoori’, classic or otherwise . . . .Kind’of’ sounds a wee bit like me . . . oh, sorry, did not tell you yet I loved the recipe . . . or that this would soon be on my table too . . . . a damn good bite . . . . 🙂 !!!

  • 🙂 !!! I’ll save you the rest . . . . shall be thinking of you when you are ‘off’ . . .

  • Think I’m going to have to make this soon. I’ll be grilling as I don’t have a sous vide thingamajig. But bring on the flavours!

  • totally off-topic, but I ADORE your hat! super stylish!

  • Well, Conor, just reading this piece made me feel hungry, impressed, and inadequate. So I suppose that makes you a social influencer. Congratulations. My PR will be in touch shortly.

      • Are you sure? I thought it was the smell of money. But okay.

  • Well, I made a departure from your recipe tonight… you will laugh, I am afraid. But I went Peruvian on it… I used yogurt and aji-amarillo paste and after sous-vide I went straight to the barbecue for cosmetic addiction of grill marks… 😉

    turned out absolutely delicious but my pictures are not good at all – not blog-worthy! Some foods are just so hard to get a good shot… (sigh)

    thank you for the inspiration!

  • I suspected you would.. 😉

  • Hi, this looks an awesome recipe which I’ll be trying soon.
    I have one question: if I am not going to freeze the chicken after cooking sous vide, how would you go about finishing it off? I am thinking a couple of minutes on a very hot BBQ or in a griddle pan would do the trick? Or would it not need any searing at all? Be glad of your recommendation!
    Great site by the way, very useful indeed!
    Thanks, Will

Join the conversation, you know you want to....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: