Sunday, May 2, 2010

Marinated Chicken Breasts with Tahini Sauce

I made this for dinner the other night because it seemed super healthy and light, something that fits nicely with the excellent weather we've been having lately (knock on wood).  I adapted it slightly from this recipe out of my Food & Wine magazine.

Step 1: Marinate Chicken Breasts (this is for 2 servings):

1/2 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used chobani)
2 tbsps cider vinegar
2-3 tbsps fresh lemon juice (I squeezed a half of a BIG lemon)
2 garlic cloves, minced (mine were tiny cloves, use less if you have normal garlic)
Salt & Pepper (tsp each?)
1 tsp crushed cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I like spice, adjust accordingly)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

I mixed everything together in a large plastic zip-top bag because I planned to marinate the chicken all day while I was at work.  Feel free to do it in a large bowl however, and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Step 2: Make Tahini Sauce:

1/4 cup tahini paste
1 clove minced garlic
equal volumes greek yogurt & lemon juice (until sauce is a good consistency, not too thin or thick)

In a small bowl, whisk the tahini paste with the minced garlic and the yogurt and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Tahini paste can be found in most grocery stores, either with the "specialty" ingredients, the peanut butter(s), or the prepared marinades & mustards.  Tahini is similar to peanut butter, just made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts, a benefit of which is seasame seeds are rich in essential minerals. I had found that the measurements in the original recipe yielded a super thick sauce... more of a paste really... which is why I advised you to adjust your volumes of yogurt & lemon to the consistency and flavor you perfer.

Step 4: Grill chicken: 

I was worried that the "all-day marinating" it would be overkill but these babies turned out perfect.  I grilled them on my multi-purpose panini press (thanks mom!) and in 4min or less they were done.  I let them sit for 2-3min to redistribute the juices and cool off... turned out very moist and flavorful.  If you are using a regular grill or grill pan, adjust the time.... the great thing about a panini press (or Foreman grill) is that you don't have to flip them and they cook much quicker :)

To serve, I sliced the chicken into strips and plated them with a light salad, some pita and the tahini sauce.  Along with one of my favorite Pinot Noir's of all time, the 2007 Orogeny, this dinner was complete. Yum.

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