Have you ever went on vacation and blew every amount of good eating you have done leading up to said vacation? Only to return and CRAVE healthy vegetables and light dishes to get yourself back on track? Well, this exact thing happened to me after I spent an AMAZING time in Cabo San Lucas celebrating one of my best friend's birthday. It was a great time and I got to meet some great people who are now my friends too. Aren't we a gorgeous bunch?
Anyhow, after all the drinks (no really, I may have drank 1/2 of the entire Mexican supply of tequila), the delicious guacamole, tacos, and a homemade chef's dinner that included a cake...my body needed to get back on track, and I decided to do this by eating a salad. And I know you're thinking, "Ugh, a salad? Bleh!" but I promise this salad is delicious and anything but boring! Starting with herbed chickpeas, some lemon and a few spices, then topping with a chicken that has been brining in a yogurt marinade, your body and your tongue will thank you!
Brining is a method of soaking a (raw) protein in a liquid, usually consisting of water, salt, sugar and possible other spices, that will tenderize the meat and keep moisture in it after cooking it. In this case, I used yogurt to brine as is done in many Indian, Greek and other Mediterranean cuisines. The reason this works so well, is because of the enzymes in yogurt that break down the meat and leave you with a moist, tender and delicious chicken breast. Added to this brine was salt and a little tahini for imparted flavor.
Once the chicken was almost finished grilling, I added a little butter and threw some radishes, halved and cut side down on the grill to become tender and soak in all of that flavor. Squeezed a little lemon over everything and served it over my salad. It was a filling dish that took 20 minutes from start to finish (post brine) and could be recreated for multiple nights of the week.
See, I told you this salad wasn't so bad :) Watch the recipe come together below
Grilled Greek Chicken with Herbed Chickpea Salad
Author: Monique Manning
Cook Time: Inactive - 4 Hours to overnight; Active: 20 minutes
Nutrition: 370 calories, 22g carbs, 16g fat, 32g protein
12 oz thin Chicken breasts
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2%
2 tbsp Tahini sauce
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
Zest of 1 Lemon
6 small Radishes, halved
1 tbsp Butter
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 15oz can Chickpeas (low sodium if you can find)
2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
2tbsp Mint, chopped
2tbsp Chives, Chopped
1tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Pinch Red pepper flakes (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2.5 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 oz Baby Arugula and Spinach Blend
To begin, place chicken breast in a sealable bowl or ziplock bag. In a separate bowl, place yogurt, salt, lemon zest and tahini sauce and whisk until it comes together as a smooth liquid. It will be thick, like pudding.
Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours, up until overnight.
For the salad, drain can of chickpeas in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Allow chickpeas to drain, tossing them to remove excess water. Transfer to a bowl that can fit remaining salad ingredients.
Next, add chopped herbs and spices to the chickpeas. Toss to mix all together.
In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and olive oil together, along with salt and pepper to create a vinaigrette dressing and pour over chickpeas. Stir chickpeas into the dressing to get them evenly coated. Add salad blend to the bowl and, using tongues, toss around to make sure it is all evenly coated.
Set aside in fridge to allow all flavors to meld.
Using a grill pan or a grill/griddle, heat until very hot, then reduce heat to medium-high.
Remove chicken from brine and place on grill. When chicken begins to tighten up and becomes easy to remove from grill, about 3 minutes, turn 1/4 away and allow to cook for another 2 minutes. Flip chicken over and repeat.
After you flip chicken over, add 1 tbsp of butter to grill, and place radishes on top, cut side down. Allow to cook in butter until tender, but not mushy. About 4 minutes.
Remove everything from the grill, onto a cutting board and allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes.
Remove chickpea salad from fridge and place a serving on a plate. Slice chicken breast and place on top of salad, along with a few radishes. Drizzle with a little extra tahini for flavor and enjoy!