OK, I’ll say it. Right off the bat, this isn’t the most exciting looking chicken dish. However, if you’re a fan of Indian food, and want to enjoy a delicious meal of savory spiced Tandoori chicken now and then, but don’t want to run out to an Indian restaurant for carry-out, this is a pretty easy way to curb that craving.
My youngest daughter, who I’ve referred to as “The Picky One”, really doesn’t like Indian food. At least, she thinks she doesn’t like Indian food. She’s easily intimidated by new flavors, and I’ve found that the best way to get her to try something is to make it at home and ease her in. I also find that calling it something other than its actual name helps as well. For example, for years salmon was “Pink Chicken”…and she ate it. Anyway, I can’t fault Avery for not liking Indian food. I didn’t enjoy Indian food until I was an adult, but I wasn’t really exposed to it much as a child. I’m hoping that the more I expose my girls to, the more they’ll eventually enjoy.
Anyway, when Avery asked me what was for dinner last night, I told her we were having chicken. She asked what kind of chicken, and I replied “Baked Chicken”. Not a complete lie, right? It did, indeed, go in the oven.
Before it went into the oven, though, I needed to marinate it in a tangy, spiced yogurt sauce. The yogurt helps assure that the chicken will be tender and juicy, kind of like marinating fried chicken in buttermilk before battering. So, to get my marinade together, I needed to combine some Greek yogurt, minced garlic, fresh ginger, grated onion, cumin, ground red pepper, a dab of canola oil, and some ground turmeric.
The turmeric gives it that nice, yellow hue once it cooks up.
Once the marinade was mixed together well, I placed four chicken breast halves in a Ziploc bag, and poured the yogurt mixture over them. I made sure that all of the chicken was covered equally, and popped the bag into the fridge to hang out for a few hours.
About a half hour before I wanted to eat, I threw together a simple salad of sliced cucumber, tomato and red onion. I just tossed it with some olive oil, red wine vinegar, and some seasonings. I also preheated my broiler, and put my broiler pan in to warm up. Having the pan hot would give it a nice sear, like a grill, when the chicken went in to the oven as well.
When it was time to cook the chicken, I removed the pieces from the bag and sprinkled both sides with a little bit of salt.
I know it looks like a big, yogurty mess, but it really doesn’t bake up that way.
I placed the chicken breasts on the heated pan in the oven and cooked them for fifteen minutes total, flipping them halfway through.
When they were done, I sliced them up and served it alongside my fresh tomato-cucumber salad, some warm naan bread, and a dollop of a store-bought sour cream-dill sauce, to help cut the spice. The chicken isn’t that spicy at all, but I’m a sucker for that sauce, and figured it would pair nicely with everything on the plate.
The chicken baked up nice and juicy, and full of savory flavor. It’s easy to dry out chicken in the oven, especially chicken baked quickly with high heat, but this one baked up so well. We all really enjoyed this dinner, and since it’s such a simple one, and so nice and healthy, I can guarantee we’ll be having it again soon.
Yes, you read correctly. We all enjoyed the meal! Avery liked the chicken! She commented on how tasty it was, and then we told her it was a take on Indian food. She was a bit thrown off at that point. We should have kept our mouths shut, but she did gobble up some more leaving the table, so I’ll consider it a win.
EASY TANDOORI SPICED CHICKEN
Adapted from Cooking Light
- 1½ cups plain reduced fat or fat free Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. grated onion
- 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground red pepper
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- cooking spray
- Combine the yogurt, onion, ginger, oil, cumin, red pepper, turmeric, and garlic in a small bowl.
- Place the chicken breasts in a large zip top bag and pour the yogurt mixture over it. Move the chicken around until it's all well coated with the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours.
- Move your oven rack to the lower third of your oven. Place a broiler pan in the oven, and preheat the broiler.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade. Sprinkle both sides with salt.
- Place the chicken breasts on the heated broiler pan. Broil in the lower third of the oven for 15 minutes total, flipping the chicken over after 7 minutes.