|Iranian Style Chicken with Barley Salad|
One of my mother’s dear friends is an Iranian nurse. She's invited my family over for BBQs on many occasions and served us the most amazing feasts. Of all the foods we had, one dish in particular stuck in my mind. It was barbequed chicken that was amazingly moist and had the tangy zip of curry and something else. I asked her what her secret is and she said she used yogurt as part of the marinade, a trick common in Iranian cooking. In an attempt to recreate those flavors, I did the same and was delighted by the results.
Yogurt makes even chicken breast – a cut that is generally dry due to cautious overcooking – deliciously moist and because yogurt is thicker than milk or oil, it sticks beautifully to the meat. Can’t mix meat and milk? Use Olive oil instead.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep time: 5-10 Minutes
Marinating time: 2 Hours or Overnight
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
2 Chicken Breasts cut width-wise into 1 inch strips
¼ Cup of 2 % Greek Yogurt – I like Greek Yogurt because I feel it adheres to the meat best.
1 Tablespoon of Curry Powder
Zest of 1 Lemon – That’s the very outer skin of the lemon – the yellow part, not the white
Salt and Pepper – To Taste
1 Teaspoon of Hot Sauce – ideally Harissa or Sriracha – While this is technically optional, those afraid of spice should try a little as the yogurt will dull the heat of the sauce allowing you to experience the flavor without a lot of the burn
Olive Oil – For greasing the baking dish
1 Mixing Bowl
1 Knife and Cutting Board
Measuring Cups and Spoons
1 Rectangular Baking Dish
1 Zip Top Bag - Optional
Whisk the yogurt, curry powder, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and hot sauce together.
Taste it and adjust for salt. You want the flavor to be on the strong side.
Add the chicken and mix everything together with your hands or a spoon making sure the meat is evenly coated.
If you used your hands, wash them, because raw chicken has a lot of bad bacteria you don’t want all over your kitchen.
Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge or stick it in a zip top bag to save fridge space.
Preheat the oven to 350 oF.
Grease your baking dish with Olive Oil.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the juices of the chicken run clear.
Let the meat rest for 5 minutes and serve!
-Samantha R. Gold
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