Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tandoori Chicken Sandwiches

I cooked meat this week for the first time in months.  Since I'm training for a half marathon, I need all the carbs and protein I can get.  Brandon and I made tandoori style chicken burgers with a recipe from Martha Stewart.  Do you think Martha actually writes her own recipes anymore?  

To start off, we marinated chopped chicken breast in lemon juice with a combination of aromatic spices: scallions, ginger, paprika, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, salt, and pepper for about half an hour. 

Next, we made the patties.  Have you ever wondered how chicken nuggets get their texture?  Here's the process.  We put the marinated chicken in my magic bullet (the recipe recommended a food processor) until the chicken was aproximately the texture of ground beef.  With this texture, the cooked chicken patties had a burger-like texture.  If you continue pureeing the mixture until smooth, you will end up with a chicken nugget-like texture. 

Then form the chicken into patties.  I made small patties, about 2 inches across, so that I could fit multiple into a pita.  You could also make larger patties for a burger-style sandwich. In this picture you can see the different textures of the patties, some more burger-like and some more chicken nugget-like.

We cooked the patties in a hot skillet with a little oil, flipping them after a few minutes.

Brandon was skeptical of the patties, so he reserved some chicken chunks before they went into the bullet. He cooked them in the oven, under a hot broiler. Here are the pieces.

I ate the patties with cucumbers and a cumin yogurt sauce inside whole wheat pitas. The patties were nice and flavorful, reminiscent of chicken tikka. In the sandwich, the yogurt sauce was a cooling partner to the spicy chicken and the cucumber added a nice crunch.  It was a great combination. 

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