island dreams for dinner time
This recipe is quite a hit in my home. It is especially good for those who are easing their way into trying Indian spices like ginger, garlic, fennel seeds and garam masala powder.. when they are normally used to cooking only with rosemary, oregano or basil.
Fragrant aromatic herbs and spices combine with fresh pineapple and Greek Yogurt in a simple marinade, for a sweet and spicy chicken main course that will chase the winter blues away in no time. Pair it with steamed vegetables and a side of oven-fresh rolls for an unforgettable and easy meal, or add it to your next celebration table for smiles all around.
So, whether you are cooking up a storm for game-day, a special treat for Valentines Day, taking a dish to a pot-luck or are looking to make a simple and easy chicken Sunday night dinner for your family, this easy recipe is sure to please.
If choosing a meat-free option, replace the chicken with cubes of paneer.
Makes: Twelve servings; 310 calories ea.
Diet: Gluten-free, Non vegetarian
Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 3+ hours marinating
Cook Time, Ease: 30 minutes, Moderately easy
2 cups unflavored Greek yogurt
4 tbsp ginger paste
4 tbsp garlic paste
4 tbsp garam masala powder
3 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
2 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp cayenne pepper powder
Salt, to taste
12 chicken drumsticks, medium sized, skinned and scored
12 chicken thighs, skinned and scored
Few sprigs of fresh rosemary
12 pineapple slices, ½" thick, halved, fresh preferred
Nonstick spray for the ovenproof dish
Butter or oil for basting
Mix all the ingredients of the marinade. Drain the pineapple and add its juice into the marinade. Reserve a third of the marinade in a separate bowl for basting.
Skin the chicken drumsticks and thighs. If you prefer to leave the skin on the chicken, score the skin deep enough to make an incision in the flesh so that the marinade seeps in.
Transfer the chicken into a zip-top bag, taking care to eliminate any juices of the chicken. Pour the marinade in; ensure all the pieces are coated. Set aside for 3+ hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two ovenproof dishes by spraying them with nonstick spray and spread the rosemary sprigs at the bottom of the dish. One by one, add the chicken pieces and alternate with pineapple slices, ensuring that the marinade has enough space to spread. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350°F. Baste the meat regularly in the first 20 minutes with the remaining marinade to avoid drying. In the last 15 minutes, baste once or twice with butter. Serve hot.
This recipe is included in my cookbook: A Dozen Ways to Celebrate: Twelve Decadent Feasts for the Culinary Indulgent & Family Feast, alongside many others, available at most ebook retailers.