I was late to the yogurt party...didn't like the sound of it, the word itself, and didn't really like the taste. Even frozen yogurt was a mystery to me. Not until I realized what a great marinade yogurt can be, or how it's addition to a salad dressing can make an ordinary dressing like catnip for me, did yogurt and I become friendly. And we are friendly. When I serve something to the mister that has yogurt in it, he thinks he's eating diet food so he feels compelled to eat twice as much. When he comes with me to the grocery store he'll always stop at the yogurt isle and load up the cart - with all the "dessert" yogurt - which he thinks will help him lose weight...sorry mister, not when you eat THREE at bedtime! When I put a large container of plain whole-milk yogurt in the cart he is practically giddy - visualizing an immediate drop in weight...alas, he is sadly mistaken...yogurt is not a miracle weight-loss food...it's simply a miracle.
The grill pan was an okay substitute for the real grill...unfortunately I'm not Chris at Nibble Me This, who would use his grill in the middle of a hurricane/tornado and think nothing of it. At the first sign of clouds or one little drop of rain, I pull out the grill pan...which, seeing how I live in Seattle, gets more than it's fair share of use. The girl was here visiting when I made this and she HATES spice in any form...so I was certain she would make a run to McDonald's for her dinner...but she surprised me and not only ate this, she said she loved it! It's a great week-night recipe and can be on the table in under 30 minutes, including the marinating time. A word about the cucumber salad...it's fresh with a bit of a zing - and the perfect accompaniment to this chicken. I'd make this salad to serve by itself - I liked it that much! Please try this one...you'll thank me! It's dang, dang, dang, dang good...yep, 4 dangs!
Grilled Yogurt Chicken With Cucumber Salad ~ Adapted From Sunset Magazine, April 2010
12 chicken tenders
1 1/4 cups plain whole-milk yogurt (I like to use Greek yogurt for that extra zip!)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 English cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, cumin, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, the chile flakes and turmeric. Set aside 1/2 cup yogurt mixture. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Add chicken to bowl, flip to coat on both sides, and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Make salad by combining, in a serving bowl, the cucumber, shallot, mint, reserved 1/2 cup yogurt mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time. Prepare a grill for direct high heat (where you can hold your hand above the grill for about 2 to 3 seconds before your skin peels off!) If using a grill pan, put your burners on high. Transfer chicken to a plate, shaking off excess marinade. Using metal tongs, wipe cooking grate with oiled paper toweling or spray with a cooking spray. Grill chicken, covered, 3 minutes, then turn over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a clean plate and season with salt. Serve chicken with cucumber salad. Serves 4.
"There is more to life than increasing its speed." ~ Mahatma Gandhi