In January I’ve heard a whole lot of rumblings around the blogosphere about people having a hard time getting back in the swing of things after the holidays. Even though we’re well into February, I’d still have to agree with that sentiment, although it’s certainly not due to a lack of inspiration. During my two week pause from blogging I felt like a high school student without any homework.
But rather than spending all of my time on Facebook or at the mall (or whatever it is that high school kids do these days), there were post-work Pilates sessions, late nights with good books, early morning weekend hikes and subsequent mid-afternoon naps.
It was pretty great.
Reluctant to let go of all of these little luxuries that can only exist with a little more free time, I’ve been slacking a little bit around here. I’ve been forgetting to come up with recipe game plans and grocery lists and just sort of winging it as best I can come the weekend.
Last Saturday I did a quick scan of a Burmese cookbook, trying to figure out what I could make with whatever ingredients that were in the freezer, fridge and pantry. I had some sad, forgotten chicken thighs in the freezer, a small tub of Greek yogurt in the fridge and all of the requisite spices in my an admittedly overstocked spice rack, so this spiced yogurt chicken shot up to the top of the very short list of possibilities. Chicken is marinated overnight with pretty basic spices and yogurt. Bake it until bubbly and the chicken is cooked through and top it with some crispy shallots and fresh cilantro and it pretty much tastes like heaven.
Who knew slacking off tasted so good?
Burmese Spiced Yogurt Chicken
Although this recipe worked very well using the baking method, I imagine grilling the marinated chicken would be even better...
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
* 4 pieces chicken breast or chicken thighs, chilled
* 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
* 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 2 Tablespoons oil
* fried shallots, for topping
* fresh, chopped cilantro leaves, for topping
* At least one cup thinly sliced shallots
Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add the yogurt, garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, cumin, paprika and cardamom. Stir to mix. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a baking dish (I used one slightly smaller than a 9x13") and pour any of the additional marinade over the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
While the chicken is baking prepare the crispy shallots. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the sliced shallots and stir until well-coated in oil. Spread into an even layer. Stop stirring and let the shallots cook until the shallots on the periphery begin to brown. Stir well and again spread the shallots out into an even layer. Repeat until all of the shallots are a dark brown, adding more oil if necessary. Drain on a paper towel.
Top chicken with crispy shallots and chopped cilantro.
Adapted from Under the Golden Pagoda: the Best of Burmese Cooking