Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Chicken Tikka with Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds
Les and I went out to another Mediterranean restaurant on another night, and we enjoyed it, so I knew I needed to try my hand at Mediterranean food myself. I bought a few Mediterranean cookbooks and drooled over the recipes (I will be testing other recipes from my new Mediterranean cookbooks, so stay tuned). But, I played it “safe” and tried a kabob recipe from Food Network Magazine. My family loved the kabobs, and I knew this would be a great recipe for entertaining.
A few weeks ago, I served Chicken Tikka and Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds for dinner to some of my friends who were at Barb’s good-bye dinner. The dinner was on a Friday night, so I needed an easy menu I could throw together quickly (with the help of my husband who grilled the chicken). Chicken Tikka, Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds and a simple green salad was the perfect menu for dinner, and this menu satisfies my craving for Mediterranean food.
The chicken was moist and tender and perfectly spiced. Be sure to serve it with the yogurt sauce as the sauce adds great flavor. Food Network Magazine had the recipe in their 50 Kabob booklet, but I like the whole pieces of chicken as they stay moister, but you can kabob the chicken with some green onions if you would like. The cranberries in the pilaf added a touch of sweetness to the rice while the slivered almonds add a great crunch.
Adapted from Food Network Magazine 50 Kabob booklet
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups Greek yogurt, separated
2 tablespoons garam masala
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, separated
1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
1 ½ teaspoons grated garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice, separated
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup Greek yogurt, garam masala, ½ cups chopped cilantro, ginger, garlic 1 tablespoon lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Take out 2 tablespoons of yogurt mixture and set aside. Add the chicken to the large bowl with the remaining marinade, and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a small bowl, add 1 cup Greek yogurt, the 2 tablespoons of reserved marinade, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Set aside.
Take the chicken out of the marinade, and grill over medium heat until done, about 3-5 minutes per side. Serve with yogurt sauce.
1½ cups basmati rice
2¼ cups chicken broth
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup chopped dried cranberries
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the onion, and cook until softened. Add the dry rice, and mix until the rice is coated with the butter and vegetable oil. Cook the rice until it becomes opaque. Add the chicken and cook until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Add the slivered almonds and cranberries, stirring to combine. Garnish with cilantro and serve.