Tandoori Inspired Chicken and Red Potatoes

On Saturday night I started not feeling very well, so Morgan and I spent most of Sunday just relaxing and watching episodes of our latest tv addiction – Mad Men.


If you haven’t seen Mad Men, it’s an AMC drama that begins in 1960 at an ad agency in New York City. If you can let yourself get past the exorbitant sexism of the 1960s which the show captures a little too well, it really is enjoyable to watch; however, I think I’m experiencing some unintended side effects from watching it.

I gave myself a french manicure as we watched on Sunday. I also painted my toe nails, straightened my hair and wore a skirt to work on a Monday. These things might be the normal routine for a lot of women, but for me, and all at the same time, made me wonder! My style is better described as “no muss no fuss,” or more colloquially known as “lame.”

tandoori spices

I also made a matching Indian style rice pudding to go with the Tandoori Chicken I planned. And I thought ahead enough to make a side dish. Usually all my efforts go into the main course and I skimp a little on the sides. Don’t worry, I’m sure all this primping and organization will quickly pass, but I may have done a bit of a 1960s skip when my husband started raving about how this dinner turned out.

red potatoes

As you might imagine I’m always trying new things in the kitchen, so when Morgan really gets excited about something it’s very encouraging! This is probably the closest to an authentic Indian style meal that I’ve gotten. It’s also, somehow, fairly easy to make. No painstaking prep work or hours of simmering spices – a great marinade does most of the work.


I adapted this from a David Lebovitz recipe to make it a little more accessible for every day cooking. I removed some of the more exotic ingredients, like saffron powder or saffron threads, used non-fat yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt, added in some yellow curry powder and replaced the chicken thighs and legs with simpler boneless chicken breasts. I also quartered some small red potatoes, coated them in a yogurt and curry dressing to compliment the chicken and roasted them until done.

The yogurt gives the chicken a lot of tang. It’s spicy, but not particularly hot. We really enjoyed this and hope you do, too!

tandoori chicken and potatoes

Tandoori Inspired Chicken and Potatoes
adapted from David Lebovitz

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (use less for less heat)
8 turns fresh ground black pepper
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon sweetened lime juice
1 tablespoon finely-minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely-minced garlic

Cut chicken breast in half lengthwise. Add all the remaining ingredients to a gallon ziploc bag, squeeze out the excess air and seal. Massage the bag to mix the marinade and coat chicken. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and place chicken with the thick marinade on sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

For potatoes:
6 small red potatoes, washed and quartered
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder

Add all ingredients to a large ziploc bag and massage to coat. Pour contents of bag onto baking sheet, setting some of the liquid aside. Roast potatoes for approximately 40 minutes, pouring the remaining liquid over the potatoes and turning at the halfway mark, or until a fork inserted into potato goes in easily.
*Note – potatoes do take a long time to cook, so you will want to begin this before the chicken. When potatoes are done, set in a bowl and cover with foil – they will keep hot.

If you’d like to make rice pudding for dessert, you may like to use your leftover rice from dinner with this recipe from Elise. I used this minus the raisins.

Jeff's Chicken Adobo

Happy Monday, DinnerCakes readers. I hope you had a good weekend! If you read Saturday’s post, then you know that I kept pretty busy! The joint cook-out went very well and, as expected, we had entirely too much food. Just as a party should be!

raw chicken

After all that cooking, I can safely say that the last thing I felt like doing the next day was making dinner. My husband, Morgan, and I worked together to make this dish; one of our friend Jeff‘s favorites – Chicken “Adobo.”


Adobo style is Latin American and typically involves preparation with red chili peppers and/or tomato sauce. That’s why this recipe from Jeff perplexes me a little (and why I put it in quotation marks above), because it has no chili peppers or even red pepper. I apologize for the name confusion, but it’s a very flavorful and delicious dinner just the same!

I’m not a huge fan of ginger, but I actually enjoyed it in this dish. The bay leaves also add some great flavor. Next time we make it I’ll probably add cayenne and chili powder because I love a little heat (and it would be more aptly named). That’s just a personal preference, though. This dish doesn’t necessarily need heat – so enjoy!

chicken adobo

Jeff’s Chicken Adobo

olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut in 3/4″ chunks
soy sauce
1-2 inches of ginger root, grated
6-8 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
4-6 whole dried bay leaves
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups dry rice (basmati works great)
pinch of salt

Place chicken into a container to marinate. Cover with a mixture of equal parts soy sauce, vinegar and water. If you prefer a stronger flavor, you can cut back on the water. Marinate for at least five minutes (chicken may be marinated longer or even overnight for stronger flavor).

Add ginger, garlic, bay leaves and black pepper. In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Once the oil has heated, add chicken (saving the marinade).

Saute the chicken on medium-high heat until it is done or mostly done. Add the marinade and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking until sauce reduces to desired thickness. Serve over rice.

Rinse rice in a pot 4-5 times and drain. Cook in a rice cooker, or according to package instructions.

Khitcheri – Time For Some Detox

The problem with baking (well, ok, ONE of the problems) is leftovers; because when you have leftovers, you inevitably end up consuming them when you really should be consuming something else. Oatmeal for breakfast? Nah…

Lentils and Basmati Rice

That was the story of my Sunday after baking a coconut cake for a friend’s birthday on Saturday. It leftovers were just a little too awesome to resist so in an attempt to balance the scales (and just placate my own mental anguish) I decided on something much simpler and lighter for dinner.

Kitcheri is a simple dish, Indian in origin. It’s been attributed to having a cleansing effect on the body; something I felt I could use. Don’t expect to be bowled away by this dish. It’s flavor is mild and subtle. Enjoy it when you’re in the right mood.


1 cup green lentils; rinsed
3/4 cup brown basmati rice
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 onion; chopped
2 garlic cloves; minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger; minced
2 teaspoons coriander
4 cups stock (or water)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
parsley as garnish (optional)

Soak the lentils and rice for 30 minutes.

Under medium heat, roast the cumin seeds with one tablespoons of oil for 20 seconds. Add the additional oil along with the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander. Sweat for 2-3 minutes. You should smell the ginger and the onions should begin to look translucent.

Add the water, turmeric, lentils and rice. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is soft; adding salt to taste. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve with parsley as a garnish. Enjoy

Creamy and Sweet Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding

A few weeks ago Joy the Baker posted a great looking rice pudding recipe that planted a seed in my head. I love rice pudding, particularly Kozy Shack brand, and I couldn’t believe that I’d never tried to make it before on my own.

cooking rice pudding

But the pudding can scorch so easily. It’s a delicate balance of stirring continuously while keeping the heat low. It was relaxing and fun, though. And in testing different ingredients and styles I was able to use my favorite ingredient.

You know what I’m talking about…


pumpkin rice pudding

It’s like creamy pumpkin pie, or a pumpkin spice frappuccino – just a hint of pumpkin and a lot of sweet cinnamon and cold milk.

Next time I make this I might add more pumpkin (you know me) and milk to make it even creamier, but right now I’m just enjoying each bite of this sweet little treat (well, what’s left of it)!

pumpkin rice pudding2

Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding

1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup long grain rice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup Libby’s canned pure pumpkin
dash of cloves
dash of nutmeg

Cook rice in rice cooker or according to package instructions. Once rice is cooked, set aside. Add milk, sugar and salt to a medium pot. Bring to a low boil, stirring continuously so you don’t scorch the milk. Add the cooked rice and pumpkin and keep stirring! Add cinnamon and dash of cloves nutmeg. Keep stirring until the milk cooks down and the rice plumps, about 10 minutes. Make sure the heat stays low and that you don’t stop stirring.

Remove the pot from the stove and pour pudding into Corningware or medium-sized bowl. Make sure you put an oven mitt or trivet underneath the bowl and set it in the fridge. Chill in refrigerator and serve cold.

Note – During one of my prior attempts I used skim milk instead of whole and it the texture wasn’t quite the same. I’d refrain from switching to skim on this one.

Mexican Rice, Surprisingly Simple

Both Heather and I will be traveling to our hometown of Richmond this weekend to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday. Much fun will be had, much food will be consumed. Besides the obligatory mass of baked goods that come from two culinary freaks (Heather lives for days like these, I swear), our friend has requested dinner at Texas De Brazil; also known as “oh god why did I eat so much it hurts so good.” I don’t eat meat that often and beef even less frequently, so I can assure you that I will make this experience worth it.

Bell Peppery Goodness

The Lady Friend and I both have pretty active (read: busy) schedules so quality time can be a bit limited. With my weekend trip we had dinner Monday to have some of said quality time. She had recently got me Fresh Food Fast: Delicious, Seasonal Vegetarian Meals in Under an Hour and so far I’ve been pretty happy with it, so we decided to make black bean quesadillas.

I did a little searching for Mexican rice recipes and was surprised to find very few called for much in terms of spices. At that point I decided to wing it and this was the result. It went quite well.

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 red bell pepper; chopped
1/2 green bell pepper; chopped
1 jalapeno pepper; chopped
1 yellow onion; chopped
3 garlic cloves; minced
1 cup brown rice
1 3/4 cup stock or water
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste

Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot and saute the onions, garlic and peppers until softened; approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the rice is softened; approximately 45 minutes.