I'm always looking for new ways to make chicken breasts that are easy and healthy, and I found this recipe in a Lebanese cookbook called Rose Water & Orange Blossoms that was really great. My husband, Ted, told me how good it was several times last night, so I'll be making this again for sure. The only bad part of this recipe was how badly my eyes burned when I was grating the onion :)
The original recipe called for regular whole milk yogurt, but we had some plain 2% greek yogurt in the fridge so I just used that and it seemed to work just fine. The greek yogurt may have been a bit thicker when it came to removing the excess marinade before grilling, but it wasn't difficult and the end result was really good. The recipe in the cookbook also called for 2 Tbsp crushed dried mint in the marinade, but I left that out because I am not a big fan of mint in my food.
The toum garlic sauce is very strong because the garlic is raw. I liked it in a very small amount because it was so strong. I'd like to modify it a bit by roasting the garlic first to take some of the bite out of the flavor. If you like garlic, you'll love toum.
The best part of making this meal was my Charlie-man helping me in the kitchen. He loves to prop up on the counter and tell me stories and help stir things. It definitely makes dinner prep one of the better parts of the day!
Yogurt-Marinated Chicken with Toum Garlic Sauce
1 cup 2% plain greek yogurt
1 medium sweet onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
Kosher salt, and pepper, for seasoning
1. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Place mixture in a gallon sized sealable bag and add chicken. Seal and move mixture around until chicken is evenly coated. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 8-24 hours. (I marinated mine for 24 hours).
2. Remove excess yogurt mixture from chicken and season with salt and pepper. Grill for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
(Recipe adapted from Rose Water and Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood, p.123)
Toum Garlic Sauce
1/2 head fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
4-6 Tbsp ice water
1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and grind until smooth. Store in refrigerator for several weeks.
(Recipes adapted from Rose Water and Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood, p.30)
1 pound fresh green beans, ends removed
1. Place green beans in a small pot and add 1/3 cup water. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is rich in B vitamins. Garlic is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL), raise good cholesterol (HDL), and aid in blood sugar control.