Just over a week ago, I was advising, rather adamantly, that all four of my readers eat only beans and a few greens and bootlegged chicken salad. I think my fanaticism may have been a result of my unemployment, which, I'm pleased to announce, will be a thing of the past starting this Monday. So, I've decided to really let loose and celebrate with a chicken recipe! You know it's an official throwdown when there's poultry being served. Eating like kings, I tell you! We're even buying fresh herbs (but only because the cats kept sitting in my herb pots).
In all seriousness, this recipe's really, really good. I wish I could say I invented it myself, but, alas, it's another Mark Bittman gem. Actually, it came from one of his readers, who answered a request in "The Minimalist" column last year for recipes for summery ten-minute meals. I'm including the link here, as it features this chicken recipe as well as nine other keepers.
Below, my more detailed and slightly modified version of the "Basil chicken, Indian style." FYI, with the marinade time it takes quite a bit longer than ten minutes, though the prep time is quick.
Recipe: Basil Chicken
1/2 C basil leaves
5 cloves garlic
one-inch piece of fresh ginger or 1 t ground ginger
6-oz plain yogurt
2 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
4 chicken pieces (boneless, skinless breasts are preferred; to save extra money, buy dark pieces or buy it with the skin and bones and just be sure to try to get the marinade under the skin)
Using a mortar and pestle, preferably a very big one, grind together the first 9 ingredients. You can also pulse them together in a food processor for a few seconds, but no more than that. Add to the chicken pieces and marinade overnight, or at least several hours (my mom has marinaded them for about an hour before and the results are still quite good, though not outstanding). Chicken may be broiled, baked, or -- ideally -- grilled.