I don’t really like leftovers.
I know…As much as I like to cook, and LOVE to eat out, I’m horrible at finishing up the food after it’s been in the fridge for a day or two. It just doesn’t taste the same.
Except for pizza. Pizza is always good for breakfast.
This chicken recipe combo is a twofer. A two-in-one situation. For dinner, you’ll enjoy a flavorful, scrumptious meal. And the next day, with a few tweaks, it turns into something even MORE flavorful and scrumptious! I give you: Tandoori-style Chicken and The World’s Best Curry Chicken Salad.
Now, I realize that none of you have a clay tandoor oven in your kitchen, nor do your Viking or GE ovens reach 900 degrees. We can work with that. It’s not an authentic tandoori meal, but the flavors are fabulous and it’s SO easy to make. It’s all about the spices!
The line up is serious. I don’t think I’ve ever used cardamom or turmeric, other than for this recipe. They all get stirred into some plain Greek yogurt. In addition to the spices, the sauce needs chopped garlic and fresh ginger, plenty of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Sauce complete!
I like to slice up the chicken breasts into thick strips, because then there’s more of the amazing sauce on each piece! Each strip gets a healthy coating of the yogurt sauce. Go ahead and let him join his friends on a foil-lined baking sheet. Seriously, use up ALL of the sauce- spoon any left in the bowl on top of the chicken strips.
Turn your oven up as high as it goes– 500 degrees is great. The yogurty-spiced chicken only needs 15-20 minutes in the oven to be fully cooked. How easy was that?
I like to serve this chicken with a tzatziki sauce. Its cool creaminess pairs really well with the bold flavors in the chicken. In a bowl, I mix Greek yogurt, chopped cucumber, lots of fresh dill, a sqeeze of lemon, garlic salt, and cracked pepper. I like including chopped grape tomatoes and nuts for texture, too.
Usually, I make Israeli cous cous with roasted red peppers to accompany the chicken with delectable garlic naan on the side. I adore garlic naan. Both are out during Project Reduce Gluten, so I made a lovely coconut rice, instead. I cooked the rice in chicken stock and coconut milk and included a bit of shredded coconut. When it was done, I stirred in a bit of lemon juice and fresh chopped cilantro. The chicken and the coconut rice became BFFs.
It’s difficult to describe how the tandoori chicken tastes. There’s a tang from the yogurt, and a mouthful of YUM from all of the spices. It’s one of my favorite things to make. And I always make plenty– because with this dish, the LEFTOVERS are the best part.
I should start Part Two by saying that I love a good chicken salad. I like it to be chunky, I think it should always have celery in it, and I like a crunchy nutty factor, too. A little spiciness never hurt anybody. And I LOVE when it’s a CURRY chicken salad. So good!
Pull your leftover tandoori chicken out of the fridge. See the browned little bits of garlic and ginger? (Mouth watering.)
Chop up some celery and cherry tomatoes. Cut up the chicken into bite-sized chunks and toss it into the bowl, too. Be sure to scrape up any remaining sauce from the cutting board and make sure it finds its way into the bowl!
Add a few generous squeezes of mayo. Shake in some garlic salt and some crushed red pepper. Toss in a big palmful of yellow curry. STIR.
Next, give it a squeeze of lemon. If you like nuts in your chicken salad, chop some up, too. I opted for almonds this time.
You’ve really got to stir the chicken salad well. You want the tandoori yogurt coating to mingle into the mayo and curry. Don’t overdo it with the mayo- all you need is a light coating, not another sauce. Give it a taste and adjust seasonings, if you need to. I really do think this is the World’s Best Curry Chicken Salad.
I usually would scoop a pile of chicken salad into a piece of garlic naan from the night before. It would be fabulous on a bed of salad greens or wrapped up in a tortilla. This time, I simply scooped it into my mouth with my beloved rice crackers.
Confession: I ate too much of it.
This is the only instance that I can think of where the leftovers from dinner are actually BETTER the next day.
Except for pizza. Leftover pizza is magic.
Tandoori-ish Chicken (adapted from Rachael Ray)
- 3-4 chicken breasts, in strips (makes enough for the 2nd recipe)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup chopped peeled ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven as high as it will go (500 degrees F). Cover a baking sheet with foil.
In a bowl, combine yogurt, ginger, garlic, all of the spices, lemon juice, and olive oil. Coat chicken strips in the yogurt sauce and arrange on the baking sheet. Roast for 15- 20 minutes until juices run clear.
Top with cilantro and serve with coconut rice and Tzatziki sauce. Best with garlic naan. YUM!
World’s Best Curry Chicken Salad
- 2 cups chopped leftover tandoori chicken
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup quartered grape tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- 1 generous tablespoon yellow curry
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Garlic salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of half of a lemon
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well to distribute tandoori yogurt flavors. Serve in a sandwich, wrap, with crackers, on a bed of greens, or eat with a large spoon until it’s gone. YUM!
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