I love the food of India but it’s one thing I always go out for; ingredient lists read like a foreign language to me and I anticipate a lengthy day of shopping at multiple stores to make sure I have everything I need. So I just don’t do it.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Katie’s post on Good Life Eats for Tandoori Chicken and the realization I had everything I needed to make this dish NOW; no shopping required. It helped that I had just picked up some Greek yogurt but most surprising to me was the fact that I actually had all the spices on hand to make the mixture the chicken marinates in before grilling.
My plan had been to serve it on a bed of couscous. I just love Israeli or ‘pearl’ couscous but I didn’t seem to have that on hand…and was starting to wonder about my plan when I couldn’t find regular couscous in my pantry either. Quinoa to the rescue!
A recently rediscovered ancient “grain” native to South America, quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. This is a new grain to me but it can be used in many of the same ways that couscous is used and I decided to give it whirl…who can’t benefit from having warrior stamina?
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
- Cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Stir chicken into the yogurt mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Prepare quinoa. Saute garlic in olive oil for a minute; add quinoa and lightly toast in oil. Add chicken broth and simmer until liquid is absorbed; 12-15 minutes.
- Preheat grill to high heat and oil grill grates. Remove chicken from the marinade and thread on skewers. After grill has preheated to high, lower heat to medium-high. Grill skewers, turning once, about 4-5 minutes per side.
- NOTE: I used my pretty adorable round skewers and although I love the way they look for serving, it is just so much easier to use regular skewers. I use two skewers for each set and you completely avoid the problem of your food turning on the skewers (as it did with these!).
- Serve over quinoa; accompany with fresh peas or any colorful vegetable.