This is my first post about meat – so, the cat’s out of the bag, I’m not vegetarian. I am, however, a very conscious omnivore and my diet is very vegetable-centric (so, you’ll see plenty of vegetarian posts in the future!). I don’t preach any one particular diet, but instead ascribe to the concept of bio individuality, meaning that no particular diet or lifestyle theme is right for everyone.
The chicken in this post is free range and organic (and therefore doesn’t contain GMOs). I usually buy my meat from the local farmers market and verify the humaneness of their operation by talking directly with the farmers and doing a bit of research online before I purchase. I do believe that to the extent that we can, we (as consumers) should be asking questions and thinking critically about what we put into our bodies and how our actions impact the planet and the living creatures around us. The extra time I took up front to do the research has paid off – I tend to frequent the same farm to buy my meat as I trust the farmers, and in a lot of ways – that means more to me than a government certification.
I first had this dish in a coastal town in Turkey, where the chicken was literally running around in a nearby pasture just a day before. The vegetables were incredibly fresh, free of pesticides, and any of that funky genetically modified business we seem to think is cool here. The yogurt used in the marinade was also fresher than a taste I can replicate here in the U.S.
This recipe can easily be gluten free if you are sure to use gluten free spices. If you are gluten intolerant, be careful with hidden gluten in the spices, otherwise – it’s a good GF recipe. The recipe below was adapted from a few different websites and personal experience.
- 1 pound chicken breast (boneless, cut into medium sized cubes)
- 1-2 large tomatoes, cut in halves
- 2 sweet peppers
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon red pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Marinade the chicken overnight in the fridge, or at least for 6 hours. Bring the chicken to room temp 30-60 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven. Place the chicken and chunks of vegetable on an oven rack (tomato halves should be facing up). Set the extra marinade aside. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (400 F) or broil for a crispier version for 12 minutes. If you’re lucky enough to have a grill, disregard all of the above and skewer the vegetables and chicken together and sear on the grill. Regardless of the cooking method, be sure to brush the chicken with the marinade and turn to cook evenly.
Serve with roasted eggplant (pictured here … recipe coming soon) or serve with a rice pilaf. Suggestions for small plates / mezze to accompany this will be posted later. Stay tuned …