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Yogurt-Spiced Chicken

2012 May 9

As I was saying in my last post, I had the lefse flatbread with tandoori chicken (as a wrap) which began this informal two-part recipe.

Well, I’m back with the tandoori-esque chicken. Esque because tandoori style refers to the cookware used and I just don’t have a tandoor. We’ll call this something like yogurt-spiced chicken instead (ok so it was named already at Chocolate Shavings-where the recipe was found).

Marinating meat in a yogurt-based concoction results in something wonderful. Every. time. Juicy, tender and flavorful. The spice combination and grated ginger….it just doesn’t get any better than that.

I’m always slightly fearful when I find a recipe based on a number of spices because I’ve found that a bad combination will ruin your day. You can be all “yay, I’m going to have a delicious Indian/Chinese/(fill in the blank) meal until you taste it and know something is missing or there’s way too much of something. It can be hard to get just right and once you’ve had an amazing herb/spice blended meal, it’s hard to accept a taste less than that level of awesome. If something is absent in the dish, I rack my brain trying to improve it and find out what was missing or what was not necessary. Greg and I are getting pretty good at that task.

This dish gets it right. I only added fennel seeds-not really needed but I find that it adds a little somethin somethin to an otherwise a-ok combo. I also marinated it for 4 hours in place of the 2 the original called for (nothing too big). My cooking method wasn’t directly on the oven rack so my method varies to the original. The lime, cilantro and sour cream on top are musts. A splash of lime is just one of those little additions that is often that missing ingredient.

Yogurt-Spiced Chicken with Cilantro
Serves 2 to 4 (served mine with herbed potatoes)

Ingredients:
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain yogurt (Greek preferably)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp curry powder (I used a hot/spicy version)
2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 lime, cut into pieces for squeezing the juice
sour cream
cilantro, coarsely chopped
lefse (or naan) bread-see my last post for the recipe

Toast the seeds in a pan (without oil) and toss until fragrant. Then grind the spices until you obtain a powder. Mix the yogurt, spices, ginger, garlic, curry, salt and pepper in a bowl. Cut the chicken breasts into bite size cubes and add to the yogurt mixture. Toss to coat all the pieces, cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 2 to 4 hours. I did 4.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Remove the chicken from the bowl, shake off the excess marinade. Place the chicken on the aluminum foil covered baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Turn your oven to 425F and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and just cooked through. It might stick to the foil slightly but with a little work it will come right up.

Serve with the lefse or warmed naan bread, a dollop of sour cream, a good drizzle of fresh lime juice and garnish with the cilantro.

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