Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yogurt-and-Spice Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

Although I have a lot of recipes that need to be posted here, this one cannot wait. Summer is waning and what I made for dinner is perfect for a warm, and busy, day.

I took about a half hour this morning to make a yogurt-based marinade for chicken breasts, and a yogurt sauce for serving the chicken with. Late this evening, all I had to do was steam rice and green beans, and grill the chicken-- very easy.

Don't be scared off by the laundry list of the spices required for the marinade. It's certainly not complicated, and the half-hour investment will guarantee an easy meal in several hours. You can skip the step of toasting and grinding the spices and use already-ground cumin and coriander seed instead, but since toasting intensifies the flavor of the seeds and gives them an incredible flavor, I don't recommend it. However, if you do skip this step, use only 2 teaspoons of each already-ground spice instead of the 1 tablespoon of the seeds in the recipe.

The chicken, because it is coated with the thick marinade during the grilling process, stays moist and flavorful. Served over fluffy basmati rice with the yogurt sauce and chopped cilantro, it is absolutely delicious.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Yogurt-and-Spice Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

Recipe By: Vicci
Servings: 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground paprika -- (or other ground mild red pepper)
3/4 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup sweet onion -- diced
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
3 large garlic cloves -- chopped
1/2 medium jalapeno pepper -- seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
20 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- (4 pieces)

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 large garlic clove -- crushed
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro -- (garnish- optional)

Drizzle the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds. Toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant (about one minute, be careful not to burn them!). Remove to a small plate. In the hot skillet, combine the garam masala through the turmeric and stir constantly over medium heat for one more minute. Add these ground spices to the seeds and, after they have cooled, grind them all together in an electric spice grinder or using a mortar-and-pestle. Set aside.

In a blender, blend the yogurt, spices, and remaining ingredients until almost smooth.

Pour mixture into a nonmetal covered container which is large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Cut about (4) 1/2" long, 1/4" deep slits in the chicken, on both sides. Place in the container and rub the yogurt mixture into the chicken, forcing some of the mixture into the slits. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, turn occasionally and re-rub with the marinade if possible.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin, garlic clove (crushed) and fresh lime juice. Set aside.

Preheat grill to medium-high (400 degrees). When ready, take the container of marinating chicken, cooking spray, and tongs to the grill. With the tongs, pick up the first chicken breast (there will be a good quantity of the marinade mixture adhering to it), tilt is slightly while spraying the underside with the cooking spray, and place, sprayed side down, on the grill. Repeat this with the other pieces of chicken. Spoon about half of the remaining marinade over the top of the chicken, smoothing it down to coat evenly. Lower the cover on the grill, turn the heat down to medium, and grill for 5 minutes. Check once or twice to make certain the chicken is not burning (although the marinade will char in a few areas).

After 5 minutes, carefully spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray and turn over using a spatula. Spoon the remaining marinade mixture on top, smoothing to cover, and close the lid. Turn heat down a bit, and cook for another 5 minutes; then, without lifting the cover, turn off the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Serve over basmati rice drizzled, with the yogurt sauce, and sprinkled with cilantro.

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Per serving: 251 Calories (kcal); 8g Total Fat; (27% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 82mg Cholesterol; 609mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Remember-- everyone's grill is different and you will probably need to make any necessary adjustments in temperature level, cooking time, etc.

I grilled extra chicken and plan to use it in a sandwich with naan and other wonderful things. I'll post on that soon.

1 Comment:

the Albino Bowler said...

I was just taking a break from my online travelers tale-in-progress and I decided to take a break and see what else is going on around Blogger. I was drawn to your page by the layout. It definitely gave me some good ideas I plan to use. Then I started reading and saw that you are into healthy cooking like me, and I also noticed that you are a Ben Folds fan.
I just wrote a piece about Ben with live video footage. It's called "Bogan Wonderland." Check it out on my page. I think you, like me, will be surprised my some of our retardedly similar takes on things.