Yogurt and Citrus Chicken or Turkey (with grilled vegetables):

Here’s a tasty new recipe that we tried and really liked! I thought of Amy & Andrew when I saw the instructions, because it says to cook it on a George Foreman grill and that’s what they have. We don’t have one, so we cooked ours on a regular gas grill.

I’ll link to the actual recipe, then tell you how we adapted it. It came from the April 2005 Oprah magazine (yeah, I have a hard time throwing magazines away-this one was hiding and I just rediscovered it.)

Here’s a link to the original recipe on Oprah’s site. The picture looks better online.

These are the ingredients:
2 lbs of 1/2 inch thick turkey cutlets
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
zest & juice of 2 large oranges
2 cups of plain lowfat yogurt
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped

Here’s what we did. First off we tried it two times. Once with the turkey and once with chicken thighs (bone-in) and (boneless-skinless) chicken breasts.

When we used turkey:

  1. First I grated the ginger and chopped the mint. I probably could have used more mint since the recipe says packed and I didn’t pack it too much in the measuring cup.
  2. I placed the cutlets in a plastic ziploc bag. Using a small bottle of unopened syrup (instead of the mallet or rolling pin), I pounded cutlets to around 1/2 inch thickness. I got tired of pounding to get them to 1/4 inch.
  3. I forgot to season with salt & pepper, like the recipe said.
  4. In a small bowl I combined orange zest and juice, yogurt, ginger and mint. Stirred until blended. Poured yogurt mixture into a large Tupperware container because there was too much to fit in a ziploc bag. Added turkey cutlets and turned to coat thoroughly. We were hungry, so instead of refrigerating 2 hours we went for about 20-30 minutes. (If I had waited any longer Terry would have eaten the whole bag of pretzels with dill dip – our appetizer.)
  5. Since we didn’t have a large panini griddle or Foreman grill, Terry preheated the gas grill to high. Removed cutlets from marinade, and allowed excess yogurt to drip off.
  6. Terry placed all cutlets on a preheated grilling pan (with holes) set on top of the grill, covered and cooked until done, about 10 minutes or so.

The results were very tasty, although the pounding of the cutlets seemed to break them up and they weren’t very pretty. We may have started out with some that were too thick to begin with.

When we used chicken:

  1. We were able to skip the step about thinning the meat, which saved time. Unfortunately if you’re using a panini or Foreman grill, you may have to do that for it to cook right. I’m not sure, since I haven’t used either before.
  2. I forgot to season with salt & pepper AGAIN, like the recipe said.
  3. In a small bowl I combined orange zest and juice, yogurt, ginger and mint. Stirred until blended. Poured yogurt mixture into a large ziploc bag. Added chicken pieces and turned to coat thoroughly. This time we refrigerated overnight instead of the minimum prescribed 2 hours.
  4. The next night, we preheated the gas grill to high. Removed chicken from marinade, and allowed excess yogurt to drip off.
  5. Terry placed thigh pieces on the grill first, on indirect heat and cooked about 40 minutes, then added the boneless breasts and cooked on direct heat until done, about 10-15 minutes. They came off perfectly moist and flavorful.

The results were much better and absolutely delicious! The taste of mint and orange especially permeated the meat and was so fresh. This is definitely being added to our recipe box. This would be a good one for those watching their diet as well, since it’s low cal, low fat and healthy, healthy!

We served the first meal with whole grain rice & sliced water chestnuts and fresh cut cantaloupe on the side. The second night we had fresh grilled vegetables as our side dish.

Maybe next time, if I actually USE the salt & pepper, they’ll taste even better! We’ll see…


Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tenders

Recipe: After dozens of requests (or maybe just a couple) here’s the recipe that I talked about earlier along with a few more tips…

This is also great on shrimp. The cilantro gives it kind of a mexican flair, but not spicey. We made fajitas with the leftovers and there was enough flavor on the chicken that we didn’t even need to add more spices for the fajitas…just grilled peppers and onions…quick and tasty!

Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tenders

Marinating time: 2 hours, minimum

2 Tblsp coarsely chopped walnuts
2 med garlic cloves
1 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and tender stems
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb chicken breast tenders
1 lime, cut in wedges

To make the marinade: In a food processor, finely chop the walnuts and garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil to create a smooth puree.

Place the chicken in a large, resealable plstic bag and add the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl and refrigerate minimum 2 hours.

Remove the chicken from the bag and thread onto skewers. Grill over DIRECT HIGH HEAT until the meat is firm and the juices run clear, 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Serve warm topped with lime juice.

What have you done with my husband?

Who is this man in my kitchen and what have you done with my husband?

Let’s start with my lucky number 7…could be lucky because my birthday is 7/7!

Anyway, I’m just loving the fact that Terry has decided that he wants to be adventurous with the grill. He’s been trying out some fantastic recipes that are absolutely delicious. Tonight he made Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tenders. mmmm… Instead of using the standard boneless chicken breasts, he tried it with boneless thighs and shrimp. Both were wonderful!

The other night we had coffee crusted pork chops with a bourbon cream sauce. Excellent as well!

Of course, the kitchen gets a little more messy, but it’s well worth it. Now we need to invest in a good food processor. All I have is one of those mini ones which just won’t cut it for these recipes from scratch. Now that we’ve tried them out, we can serve them to guests. Anyone available for dinner?