Tuesday dinner: Yogurt-marinated chicken with quinoa and vegetables

Real Simple has apparently ascended to the status as “official magazine of 30-something women.” Find a woman between 30 and 39 who doesn’t subscribe, buy or worship to the monthly magazine. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

See what I mean?

It’s actually a pretty nifty magazine with a robust archive of recipes on its website. Tonight’s dinner came from the February 2011 issue.

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The only time I’ve ever used yogurt in a recipe was when I would make No Pudge-brand brownies. I know that it is used in Indian cuisine as the primary ingredient of tandoori chicken. And while I can eat tzatziki by the gallon, I’ve never heated it through. My fear is that the dairy components of the yogurt would curdle when cooked. As usual I was wrong.

The yogurt, when blended with lemon juice and garlic, acted like a barrier. The chicken turned out very juicy. This recipe calls for marinating between 30 to 120 minutes, but I let it soak overnight (out of convenience) and things turned out fine.

Yogurt-marinated chicken with quinoa and vegetables
Adapted from Real Simple

  • 4-6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 6 oz. chicken cutlets
  • 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. mushrooms (shiitake or cremini)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Fold in the parsley, 2 teaspoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.

Divide the potato, mushrooms, and thyme between 2 rimmed baking sheets; toss with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Roast, rotating the sheets once, until tender, 13 to 15 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a large cast-iron or other nonstick skillet over medium heat. Wipe the excess marinade off the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the quinoa and vegetables.

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