Tandoori Chicken Tenders

I’m always looking for new and interesting things to do with chicken. For years, practically the only thing I cooked was chicken with some lemon pepper on it. As you can imagine, I have no desire to make (or eat) boring lemon pepper chicken anymore. So when I saw this recipe, I definitely wanted to try it and I’m glad I did because I know this is going to be a new staple in our house. It’s really easy and fast to make. It’s low fat and it results in a moist, tender and flavorful chicken. That’s everything I could ever want in a dinner.

The initial recipe says to use chicken breasts, but the second time I made these I only had tenderloins and I thought they were still really good (and even faster to make because the cooking time is only about 12 minutes). If you have picky kids that would look at yellow chicken in disgust, making tenderloins instead might make them a bit more palatable.

I was initially worried that it would taste too ginger-y, but it really didn’t. In fact, I thought the flavor was pretty tame. So in my second attempt I added some more spices and flavors that I found from similar chicken recipes, which helped amp up the flavor. Also, this recipe benefits from some marinating to make the flavors even deeper, but if you don’t have the time, it still tastes great.

Tandoori Chicken Tandoori Chicken Tenders

Apple Slaw

In the cookbook, this recipe is accompanied by a recipe for a yogurt sauce, which is supposed to be similar to “raita”, a traditional Indian sauce. But when I made it, neither my boyfriend or I thought it was anything like a sauce. It’s way more like a slaw. And I say that as a lifelong hater of any kind of slaw. Which is why both Brandon and I were really apprehensive about this at first. Basically, it’s grated apple mixed with yogurt. I mean, I like apples and I like yogurt. But I’ve never heard of grated apple in yogurt. It just seemed weird. But I have to say, it really surprised me. It’s one of my new favorite things. It’s just really simple and tasty and it’s a great, cool (and I mean that in every sense of the word) side dish if you are eating something, like this chicken, that’s a bit spicy (especially spices like ginger or cumin).

Tandoori Chicken with Apple Slaw

Adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 12 chicken tenderloins or 4 bone-in skinless chicken breast halves

Apple Slaw

  • 2 small granny-smith apples (I’ve used 1 large golden delicious with success as well, it’s sweeter but less tart)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro (I didn’t have any fresh so I omitted it, I think this is mainly for added color)

Process

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F) for tenders or 475 degrees for breasts.

2. In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, garlic, tumeric, ginger, salt and pepper.

3. Add the chicken and coat with mixture.

Note: If you have the extra time, cut some slits into the chicken, cover the bowl or else put everything in a large plastic bag and let marinate for at least an hour or up to a whole day.

4. Place chicken on a baking sheet. For tenders, bake for 12-15 minutes (be careful about overcooking, they’ll get dried out). For breasts, 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees (F).

5. While chicken is baking, peel the apple and grate (larger/courser is better, so don’t use a microplane grater) into a bowl.

6. Add the lemon juice, yogurt and cilantro. Mix well. Keep chilled in fridge until the chicken is ready. If it gets too watery from sitting for too long, put in a strainer and drain some of the liquid out.

Serve with rice and the slaw on the side.

Serves 4