Tandoori Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Lime Quinoa

If you asked me what my favorite food was, I'd say sushi.  Hands down, every day, all day long, 365 days a year.  But since I'm not a millionaire, I can't afford to eat sushi every day.  So if you asked me what my second favorite food was, I'd say Indian food.  Holy crap.  I love the aroma of it cooking.  I love the spices involved.  Just looking at all the different spices in a recipe for an Indian dish gets me giddy.

So for today's Fit Friday recipe, I'm cooking up some dark meat with a handful of fragrant spices.  Tandoori Grilled Chicken.  Now, I have to say that Tandoori chicken isn't about the spices alone.  A tandoor is actually a type of oven used to cook meat and bread in, native to India.  It's made out of clay or metal and is cylindrical.  It reminds me of a very deep fire pit.  But we here in America known this type of chicken used with these spices as Tandoori Chicken.  Paprika, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, all spices used to give the chicken a smokey flavor while the cayenne pepper gives it a pop.  Let me say this - this IS a kid friendly recipe.  Even though it has cayenne pepper in it, it's really not spicy.  The yogurt tones that down.  Just gives it great flavor.

Using quinoa as a side dish just makes sense to me with Indian food.  I could use couscous, but I'd rather get some protein and fiber packed into my side dish.  The lime and cilantro compliments the chicken so well, you really don't need anything else.  Again, something the kids will enjoy.  Here's your tip for this recipe.  If you can't find skinless chicken pieces, it's VERY easy to skin them yourself.  All you have to do is find a place where the skin is loose, slide your thumb underneath the skin, and pull the skin back.  If you find it a little difficult, just grab a paper towel, grab the skin, and you'll find that pulling the skin off is so easy.  And it's cheaper to buy it with the skin on!  Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Tandoori Grilled Chicken
with Cilantro Lime Quinoa


4-6 skinless chicken pieces (I used drumsticks and thighs)
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbs. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. garam masala
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 (6 oz.) container plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 cup quinoa
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 limes, juiced
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro


1. Pierce chicken pieces with a fork several times.  Place in a large ziploc bag.

2. Place onion and garlic in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add spices, yogurt, and lemon juice.  Process until mixed well.  Add liquid to chicken in bag.  Place in fridge and allow to marinade for 4 hours.

3. Preheat grill over medium high heat.  Place chicken on grill and cook for 20-30 minutes, turning once.  Remove from grill and serve immediately.  (I served mine with lemon slices to be juiced onto chicken)

4. While chicken is cooking, prepare quinoa.  Pour chicken broth and quinoa into a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cover.  Reduce heat and cook until moisture has cooked off, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove lid and add lime juice and cilantro.  Toss with a fork.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4
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