Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recipe Wednesday: Tandoori Chicken and Tzatziki

Last night was sweltering. So in honor of the unexpected and anomalous late-May heat and the purchasing of new, grown up patio furniture (we did have those hideous $5 plastic chairs and a warped plastic table), we grilled last night. If you read yesterday's post, it will be no surprise to you that our meal was of the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern variety. Namely, tandoori chicken with saffron and cardamom rice. Tomatoes, cucumber, naan and tzatziki on the side. Boy howdy.

I love Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods with an intense passion that is hard to describe in words. There's a casualness about it that appeals to the hippie in me, but a sophistication in spice and texture that speaks to my very foodie heart. Perhaps you share my leanings? If so, here are two of my personal faves: Tandoori chicken and tzatziki sauce. Tandoori chicken is one of my favorite things to prepare for guests——The marinade yields a deliciously complex taste and moisture without constant monitoring or fussy preparation. And tzatziki you can eat on anything ... salad, sammies, pita, red and white meats, fish, you name it.


1 lb chicken (you can use whatever pieces you like ... for convenience, we opted for boneless, skinless breasts)
3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 tsp corn oil
1 tsp ginger pulp
1 tsp garlic pulp
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
NOTE: Traditionally, this recipe also calls for several drops of red food coloring to give the dish a unique color, but I choose to leave it out. Do what you will. :)

If necessary, skin chicken. Rinse and pat dry. Cut 2 slits in the top of each piece. Set aside.

In a non-reactive bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Add chicken pieces, making sure all are coated with the yogurt mixture. Let marinate at least 3 hours.

From here, you can cook the chicken two ways:

Oven: Preheat oven to 475ยบ. Put the marinated chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and browned on top.

Grill: Grill chicken pieces as you normally would.

1 cup plain yogurt
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced or grated cucumber
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice

Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic and cucumber. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve cold.

And there you have 'em. Like I mentioned, we grilled our chicken, then sliced up cucumbers and tomatoes and warmed a little naan (a Middle Eastern flatbread) in the oven and served everything on one plate with the sauce, but Tandoori chicken is versatile. Try wrapping the chicken up in flatbread, making open face sammies, or serving over lettuce. So many delicious options. :)

1 comment:

  1. My mouth is watering. I think I could survive for weeks on just tzatziki. But let's see that new patio furniture!


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