Tandoori Grilled Chicken

I wish I could get in the heads of my fellow gym goers. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re curling away, first in the squat rack, later on the Smith machine, and finally with dumbbells. Or they’re on their fourth variation of the bench press this hour. I wonder what they’re thinking as this little girl sets up a barbell on the floor with a big ass plate on each side. “Deadlifts? Why? Girls don’t do deadlifts. Girls use precisely no more than 5lbs at a time and work on their endurance with bicep curls and tricep presses. And they do crunches. Lots of crunches.”

Side note: I think that’s the first time I’ve ever labeled myself as “little” and actually felt comfortable with it. That’s some serious progress.

Anyway, if seeing a little girl deadlift more than her body weight would have sent these guys into some state of supplement-enhanced shock, I wasn’t the cause of it. Because there were no deadlifts on yesterday’s program. Rather, I was setting up for barbell hip thrusters. Sounds a little dirty? Yeah, I think so too. Not gonna lie, I think I turned some heads and maybe caused a dumbbell to drop. But truly this is a phenomenal exercise to strengthen the glutes and hamstrings and it’s sad that 99% of the dudes in my gym have never heard of it or tried it themselves. Then again, 90% probably don’t know where their glutes and hamstrings are. Too busy curling, naturally.)

It wasn’t the first time I’ve staked out my territory on the gym floor to perform an exercise that would never occur to most of the other gym members, and it won’t be the last. I like to keep things fresh. And challenging. And get the most bang for my workout buck. This is why I dutifully follow the plans laid out for me by my trainer. Who, for what it’s worth, does not work in my commercial gym and does know a heck of a lot more than those who do. See, I’m no innovator, I don’t come up with this stuff on my own. Rather, I just spread the good word. 

Similarly, this wasn’t the first time we made this chicken, and it most definitely won’t be the last. And I didn’t come up with it on my own. I borrowed it from  Shawnda, otherwise known as the FoodieBride. And I share it with you, knowing that it will turn your head – or at least your taste buds – up into a state of utter happiness. You’ll also love how incredibly simple and healthy it is. If you’ve ever marinated chicken in yogurt, you know that it’s not only the perfect vehicle for infusing the flavors of fresh herbs and spices into the meat, it also keeps it beautifully moist and tender. If you haven’t, don’t wait a minute longer.

The first time we made this chicken was specifically for a taco – yes, inspired by Shawnda’s, but a little different. I’ll be sharing those with you next week, because believe me, they totally deserve their own post. They’re that good. But so is this. Ever since those tacos (which have also made repeat appearances), we’ve been grilling up batches of this chicken to take for lunch, in a wrap or on a salad. And this is not to simply deliver a serving of protein; no, this chicken is so much more than that. I used to dream about things like roasted beets or avocado in my salad, or a spicy hummus on my wrap, but now they are mere accessories to this chicken. It’s bold flavor, brimming with cilantro, ginger, and cumin, is something I dream about all morning. It’s official. My lunch has been revolutionized.

Tandoori Grilled Chicken
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup packed cilantro
1 heaping tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 5 oz each
In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the chicken. Process until smooth. Trim the chicken breasts of any remaining fat and place in a large bowl. Pour in the yogurt mixture and stir to coat completely. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight (the longer, the better.)
Preheat grill to medium-low heat and oil the grates or mist with nonstick cooking spray. Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through, turning only once. Remove from the grill and tent with foil until ready to serve.
Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 170.8
Total Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 83.4 mg
Sodium: 99.9 mg
Total Carbs: 1.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 34.8 g

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13 Responses to “Tandoori Grilled Chicken”

  1. 1

    Kelly — May 6, 2011 @ 4:42 pm Reply

    Yep. Sounds totally dirty. Now I'm curious what it looks like. That chicken though sounds absolutely fantastic, which is saying a lot since I am NOT a chicken person.

  2. 2

    Tasha — May 6, 2011 @ 7:30 pm Reply

    I'm not easily excited by chicken, but my husband loves it. You definitely have me wanting to give this one a try.

  3. 3

    Shawnda — May 6, 2011 @ 7:34 pm Reply

    I'm so glad you liked it! I think it makes the juiciest chicken. We eat it on everything!

  4. 4

    DeliciousDish — May 6, 2011 @ 7:45 pm Reply

    I used to work out with guys in college, and they taught me all sorts of great lifting exercises. This little girl did deadlifts all the time. I wish I still had that motivation! The chicken sounds tasty!

  5. 5

    Elina (Russian Bites) — May 6, 2011 @ 8:27 pm Reply

    It's amazing how something so simple sounds (and looks!) so incredibly delicious. I need to start making extra proteins for random meals. This looks perfect!PS – you ARE little (in a good way)! 😀

  6. 6

    Joanne — May 7, 2011 @ 12:29 am Reply

    (a) You are little. And adorable. And I wish I could have taken you home with me because having you here would make my life SO MUCH BETTER.(b) I think it's crazy awesome that you do so many crazy awesome weight training things at the gym. You inspire me. I think those guys are thinking. Damn that girl is hott. (With two t's).(c) OMG this sounds delicious!

  7. 7

    Alicia Fidalgo — May 7, 2011 @ 11:24 am Reply

    Great recipe!! I recently tried Bon Apetit's easy chicken masala recipe and I was amazed at how the yogurt kept the chicken moist, but also helped to infuse the meat with all the flavor of the seasoning. This looks like another great way to use yogurt!! thanks!!

  8. 8

    megi — May 7, 2011 @ 11:40 am Reply

    The tandoori chicken looks so good and marinating it in yogurt makes it so tender!

  9. 9

    Chrysta — May 7, 2011 @ 5:02 pm Reply

    oh girl keep on rocking it in the gym!! Honestly deads and hip thrusters are some of my favorites! along with full body squats and chin ups (well I have a love hate relationship with those, ha!) Keep being awesome!! thanks for the grilled chicken recipes. Its finally nice here and I have one last big push this week till I get some time off. And I love to grill so now I have some fun new stuff to try out. Hope your having a great week!!

  10. 10

    Michelle's Photos — May 9, 2011 @ 4:25 am Reply

    sounds so yummy!!! my husband loves loves Tandoori Chicken…

  11. 11

    Shannon — May 9, 2011 @ 8:54 pm Reply

    that definitely sounds dirty. now i'm off to look it up 🙂 LOVE how tender chicken gets when you marinade it in yogurt!! fabulous 🙂

  12. 12

    Elina (Russian Bites) — June 1, 2011 @ 2:01 am Reply

    It's amazing how something so simple sounds (and looks!) so incredibly delicious. I need to start making extra proteins for random meals. This looks perfect!PS – you ARE little (in a good way)! 😀

  13. 13

    Jennifer Fong — July 3, 2011 @ 2:41 pm Reply

    Wow this looks amazing. I wonder if this would work with a whole chicken in the crockpot? May have to try it!

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