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Tandoori Chicken Dinner

A whole week with no recipes? No posts? We don't hear from you? Nothing?

I know. I know. I sorta went MIA this past week. I don't know why, but I really just had no urge whatsoever to bake or cook. I think I was more focused on enjoying the really nice weather we were having. Can you blame me? Who wouldn't want to walk along the beach in 70 degree weather for four consecutive days? Plus, judging by all the desserts I've been eating this month, my body needed the favor.

But don't worry, I didn't forget my blog completely. In case you haven't noticed, which you probably haven't if you only read my RSS feed, I've made some changes to the site! Mostly graphic/layout stuff, BUT I've also made a Facebook page! Yes, now you can get updates straight to your Newsfeed! And I've decided that once I get 100 likes,I'll post a giveaway! So get to liking! And sharing. And commenting. And all that good stuff :)

So anyways, on to other news. I knew that I had to come back with something really good to make up for the fact that I was gone for a week.And what better meal to do that with than a tandoori chicken dinner. Yeah, I'm coming at you guys with a whole dinner, not even a dish. Okay, so the dinner might be missing a side dish, and perhaps a salad...and maybe some bread...and a drink. But, we're just gonna go with it for the sake of making me seem awesome.

I can't take all the credit though. Beth, at Budget Bytes, is the one who put together this wonderful meal, wonderful being an understatement. You have these cubes of chicken breast that are marinated in yogurt and a whole bunch of other spices that are not only absolutely delectable, but they're also good for you! I'm talking ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper---yes, even cayenne pepper is good for you. It's full of beta-carotene, antioxidants, immune boosters, and if you have no idea what any of those do for your body, just remember that it speeds up your metabolism. That's enough information to have me sprinkling it on almost everything I eat.

So yeah, like I was saying, you have these cubes of chicken breast that marinate in all that goodness for a couple of hours, at least four but it's better if you leave them overnight. Then you grill them because the weather is finally warm enough to use your grill. And at this point, you'll be so enticed by the smell of the chicken grilling that you'll forget that you left the rice on the stove and it almost burns. Oh wait, that second part might just apply to me. It's half the chicken's fault and half my fault for not setting the timer on the oven. Make sure you set your timers! You don't want to ruin the rice because although the chicken is great by itself, the rice complements it so well.

The original recipe calls for jasmine rice, but you can substitute white rice or whatever kind of rice you have on hand. Of course, just remember that each rice's cooking time will be different. But the preparation will all be the same. You'll be spicing up the rice with even more aromatic and healthy spices like turmeric, cinnamon,garlic, cumin, etc. So, there's like a double dose of healthiness in this meal? Yes, ma'am. As well as an overdose of extraordinary flavors.

I used to think this marinated chicken was good. I clearly never tried marinating chicken in yogurt. Oh my goodness. This chicken was so juicy and succulent. And the flavor? Out.Of.This.World. My taste buds were doing a Bollywood dance. The combination of spices was so perfectly balanced; no single spice dominating the other, but instead, playing off each other in such a delightful manner. And the same goes for the rice. Even though the spices in the rice were a bit more subtle than the ones in the chicken, they tied together so perfectly, offering just the right amount of spiciness and sweetness to perfectly complement the chicken.

Yes, I realize I just used the word perfect three times in one paragraph but there really is no better word to describe this meal. I mean, yeah there's other words like mouth-watering, divine, savory, etc. But perfect pretty much sums it all up. You'll understand when you try it. Notice I said when, and not if.Because you will try it. I'm sort of commanding you to. Just lovin' for my brothers and sisters what I love for myself yo.

Tandoori Chicken Dinner

Yield: 6 servings
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For the chicken kebabs:
2 large chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat and cut into cubes
1/2 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 inches fresh ginger
1 medium lemon, juiced
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

For the yellow rice:
2 cups white rice
2 tablespoons butter
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 whole bay leaf
5 cups boiling water


For the chicken kebabs:
Place the cubes of chicken in a large freezer bag (or dish/bowl) to hold the marinade. Finely dice the onion and garlic. Peel and grate the ginger. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and the rest of the ingredients to the bag with the chicken. Close the top and mix together all of the ingredients well. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least four hours or overnight.

After marinating, thread the cubes of chicken onto skewers. Cook them on the grill,brushing them with excess marinade and flipping them periodically until they are cooked through.

For the yellow rice:
Heat the butter, salt, turmeric,garlic, cumin, and cinnamon in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir and heat until the butter has melted. Add the rice to the pot. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes to slightly toast the rice and spices. You may hear a slight popping or crackling noise as the rice toasts.

Add 5 cups of boiling water and one bay leaf to the pot. Stir once, then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and let the rice cook for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork just before serving.

Adapted from Budget Bytes

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