Sunday, 19 August 2007

Chicken breasts in yoghurt

NAME: _Chicken breasts in yoghurt

2 whole chicken breasts, halved.
1 cup yoghurt
1 cup unsweetened cream
1 cup chopped parsley leaves
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp cardamom seeds
2 cloves garlic
4 - 8 stalks spring onion
several sprigs or parsley and coriander
2 eggs
1 cup of yellow cheese such as mild cheddar, grated
some crumbled fetta, haloumi, or peynir kasar type cheese

Ceramic or cast iron baking/casserole dish that will just hold the four half chicken breasts laid out flat, or four small baking dishes to the smae specification as above that are just the right size for a breast half each. (I recommend the latter, I have four small oval ceramic dishes that are ideal, made by Mayfair & Jackson, will add a picture here next time I make this recipe.)

Crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar, or put in blender, until all crsuhed fine. Add
1/2 cup each of the green leaves, spring onions, all the garlic, and blend or mash again until pretty much liquid. Add the yoghurt and cream, and either mix together or one quick burst blend to mix.

Add remaining finely chopped greens, mix in, and use about 1/3 of this mixture to marinate chicken breasts in a plastic bag for an hour or more.

Place each marinated chicken breast flat in its baking dish which you have brushed with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside to marinate some more.

Add the two eggs to the remaining yoghurt/cream mixtures and beat in. Pour a quarter of the mixture around and over each breast, put in the oven at 190 - 200 for 20 minutes. Add the grated cheese in equal parts over the top of each dish, similarly the crumbled specialty cheese, return to oven for a further 20 - 30 minutes, or until the yellow cheese has browned.

Leave to cool slightly and serve in the baking dish, placing this on the plate of each person. This dish can be served with couscous, rice, salads, or a dish like baked eggplant or similar - or any combination, and probably a few more I haven't even thought of yet.

The egg will set the yoghurt/cream mixture around the chicken breast, which is why it's better served in the individual ramekin or dish - but equally, you could make them all in one baking dish and serve to the plate along with the accompanying dishes.

The ceramic dishes I have are oval, about 10cm in the long direction, and about 1.5cm deep, and were part of a set with a much larger similar shaped dish that I have no idea what the set was for as it was a gift one Christmas. I'll do some research...

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