Here we are at the end of March and, if you didn’t already know, this is a great time for sports! We have March Madness, NBA playoffs, and the start of baseball season approaching as well and if any of you are like me, nothing brings you more joy while watching a game than dipping a spicy, orange piece of fried chicken into chunky white sauce.
Though it may be delicious, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that deep-fried chicken smothered in butter and hot sauce can’t be all that great for you but some of us comprehend numbers better. Well, here they are: 1 Buffalo wing contains between 75-90 calories and 6 grams of fat. At first this may not sound that bad, but how many wings to do you normally eat? And how much Blue Cheese do you pile on top of them?
After reading and calculating the stats on one of my favorite game day snacks, I decided to lighten it up. My dish is a grilled chicken skewer paired with a creamy Greek yogurt dip. Grilling the chicken gives it tons of flavor with little added fat and its Middle Eastern spices are enhanced by a healthy Greek yogurt dip.
I hope you give this a try! Your taste buds and waistline will thank you!
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs. chicken tenders
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon oregano (or Italian seasoning)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (low-fat or non-fat)
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves (12-15 large leaves)
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of half a lemon
- Worcestershire sauce (a few drops)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Skewers (wooden or metal)
For the Chicken Skewers:
This chicken is best when marinated overnight but if you can't, I suggest making it at least 3-4 hours in advance. If you are using wooden skewers, you also want to soak them in water at least 1 hour in advance to prevent burning. Also, smaller skewers work best.
On a plastic cutting board, cut each of the chicken tenders in half lengthwise. Then, in a large bowl, add the oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use a whisk to mix the spices with the oil; it will become a thick paste. Add the chicken to the bowl and using a large spoon, thoroughly mix the chicken with spice mixture until all the chicken is coated. Next, cover the bowl with saran wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator.
About 20 minutes before you are ready to cook the chicken, take the bowl out the refrigerator to let the tenders come to room temperature. Then, thread each tender onto the top of a skewer (2 lbs. make approximately 28 skewers). Afterward, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands because the tamarind can stain your hands.
Next preheat your grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat. Pour about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on a paper towel and rub on the grill to prevent sticking and burning. Then, cook the tenders for 3 minutes on each side. You can serve immediately with the Greek Yogurt Dip, but these kabobs are tasty even at room temperature.
If you do not have a grill, broil the skewers in the oven for 3 mins. on each side.
For the Greek Yogurt Dip:
Just like the chicken, this dip gets better the longer it sits, so feel free to make it as early as a day in advanced.
In a small bowl, add the yogurt, chopped mint, and lemon juice. Using a Microplane grater, grate in one clove of garlic and stir to combine. Season with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Then stir, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Any leftover dip pairs great with fish and lamb as well.