Monday, July 26, 2010

Grilled Tandoori Chicken & And Business Ventures

The news around the Carter dinner table of late is all of Brian's recent ventures into being a small business owner. As the month of July comes to a close it doesn't seem that much different than any other month other than we now own Pearl Printing. A company that my husband has been working for since graduating college. Apart from now owning it, not much has changed in his day to day activities other than branching the business out. He now has two subsidiary companies (Masterpiece Magnets and Petticoats & Pollywogs) one makes reproductions of classical pieces of work miniature sized, framed and magnets on the back for your fridge, the other is modern nursery art. On display now is growth charts, soon to come matching artwork to complete any nursery. The latter became an idea after I was so pleased with the work he did for our own daughters room and growth chart. Petticoats & Pollywogs just opened on Etsy and we have already made a sale. Fingers Crossed!

We have also hit the terrible two's with Miss Molly, I was hoping the two's were going to be fantastic and the three's were going to be more hellish (I thought I heard that somewhere) anyway she is pushing as hard as she can. Today was not one of her better days, she absolutely would not take a nap, and as I write this blog at 8:00pm she is still crying and/or moving around her bedroom refusing to sleep. On a plus side we spent a good 45 minutes today in our hot tub (reduced to 97 degrees for the summer) with Molly's life jacket on to get her ready for our upcoming camping trip to Wicki-up Reservoir, all children in my extended family must wear life jackets if they are anywhere near the water as a precaution so I thought I would acclimatize her now. That part of the day today was very pleasurable and I was so proud of how far she has come with being comfortable in the water. The rest of the day I wish could be left on the cutting room floor as they say.

You see, people give me the same canned response when they find out I teach middle schoolers, "Oh bless you, I could never." Or something of that ilk. But this age 2-4, is not my cup of tea. When I first started working at the age of 16, and even earlier this was the age group I always worked with. Before and after school care programs, Safety Town, Soccer Coach, T-ball Coach, Golf Coach was all with this age group. And I knew then, what is only getting reinforced now, my patience level is practically nonexistent with this age group. Teenagers, 13-14 is what I teach, we just connect. They can be talked to like an adult, reasoned with, and they are not yet disillusioned with school that I can't make a difference. But this, two year old defiance, is hard to reason with. I am not going to lie, it has been a struggle, one we are working through but lordy when it is hot and your child is working themselves up into a lather and won't go to bed, what is a parent to do?

Anyway... back to dinner. Tonight's dinner was fantastic! My husband commented numerous times on how good the chicken was, so needless to say it is a keeper. Molly even had second helpings, and even though she LOVES cous cous it is going to be the death of me - more of it was on the table and floor and her chair then I think made it into her mouth!
Tonights dinner: Grilled Tandoori with cous cous and grilled sweet onion, and steamed garlicky green beans on the side.
**The last two were added because they needed to be used, they were from our CSA last week and with our new bag arriving tomorrow with more beans why not. Everything was done on the grill or in the microwave to avoid heating up the house (we don't have AC) don't underestimate your grill, it can do anything!

Steamed Green Beans on the grill
3-4 good handfuls of trimmed green beans
1 garlic clove minced (garlic pressed for me)
2 ice cubes
Tin foil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Throw everything into a tin foil pouch (even the ice cubes) and cook right along with the chicken and onions.

** The ice cube trick I picked up from Relish, it gives the perfect amount of steam/water for great veggies! Brilliant!

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

2-4 Chicken Breasts (I used two, but they were huge and I cut them in half, butterflied really, to make them thinner/smaller portions)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric (You should be able to get this in your spice aisle or maybe even in your bulk section, it is a main ingredient in most curry powders, it has a very mild flavor and tons of color punch, it is what makes the curry powder yellow... this chicken will be BRIGHT yellow! Depending on how much turmeric you use.)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 large cloves garlic (micro-planer)
1 tbsp ginger (micro planer, I keep mine in the freezer it lasts practically forever and it makes using the micro-planer a breeze)
1 1/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne (More of less can be used according to your taste... my 2 year old loved this and I used this amount and she was able to eat it, not spicy at all just a mild kick.)

1 tbsp cooking oil to brush chicken with as you grill so it doesn't stick to the grill. (could leave this out if you don't want excess oil)

1. Marinate the chicken for about 5 minutes in the lemon juice, water, salt, and turmeric. I used a plastic Ziploc for this purpose.
2. Mix together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl.
3. Reserve a little of the yogurt mix for after you flip your chicken on the grill (just spoon it over at the end of the cooking process for extra flavor and the keep the chicken from drying out) put the majority of the yogurt mix into the plastic bag and allow that to marinate for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Finally grill the chicken until done, again spooning over the set aside yogurt mix at the end of the cooking process for more flavor.

** This recipe is from the Food and Wine cookbook: Quick From Scratch Chicken Cookbook. I have dog- eared so many recipes in this book and so far have only been able to try about three, but they have all been good. For my family my frozen chicken breasts are a fall back when I need to go to the store. It is the protein we probably eat the most of, so cookbooks like this are good to have.

For the cous cous recipe go to one of my previous posts Step Away from the Box part 1. Only difference is that instead of boiling water on the cook top I used my microwave. I heated the water in the microwave for 5 minutes and then added the cous cous and let sit with a lid for about 5 more minutes. Then you add your flavorings and fluff it all together with a fork. This is a brilliant side dish in the summer for this reason!


  1. The chicken sounds delish! I've never had Cous Cous. May have to try it sometime!

    We have always had indoor dogs so I had NO IDEA what a messy eater my kid was until we ate at a friends house one day! Oh my goodness! Food everywhere! He did outgrow it ... eventually! And in the meantime the dogs were well fed!

    Hang in there, Mom! She's testing her boundaries and believe it or not ... it's better to fight this battle and establish your authority NOW. If she gets to be in charge now you are in big trouble when she's a teen! :)

  2. You must try cous cous, you can get it in the bulk aisle (although maybe for the first time try one of the boxed kinds. I like the kind that has garlic and pine nuts... this would allow you to taste it and then mimic with your bulk purchase in the future), it is a great thing to have in your pantry for an easy side dish. Similar to Quinoa, it can be cooked in the microwave fairly quickly. Cous cous is a pasta however and Quinoa is a grain (and a complete protein) but both are small pebble looking dishes that I use for side dishes. And my little one really likes.

  3. This sounds, and looks, terrific. I can not wait to try it!


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