I’m all about the beach in the summer. Growing up, we went to the beach every summer with my parents’ friends and our aunts and uncles. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are at the ocean with my family, and summer just doesn’t feel complete without a trip to the coast. This year I went once with my mom and my youngest two sisters and then again with my sisters JoAnna and Victoria. I love laying out in that hot sun and then swimming out past the breakers to cool down. Living in NC makes it a lot easier to get to the beach more often 🙂
While at the beach with my mom in June, we also had my sister Sarah’s two children with us, Jacob and Gracie. They were a bit of a handful at the beach and it took both my mom and I to manage feeding everyone and watching them. I made this chicken and rice dish one night which was more popular than I would have thought. Even Jacob and Gracie liked it. I saw the recipe on “Tasty” from facebook (those videos are seriously addicting to me). I added my own spin on it, but the main recipe is theirs. It’s a pretty good one-pot meal for carnivores (aka my family).
There was a lot of rice left over the next day but now chicken, so I made a vegetarian version for lunch which I liked even better. I roasted sweet potatoes with the same spices as the chicken, and put the sweet potatoes on the rice in stead. It was fabulous. So if you want a veg version of this, I highly suggest the sweet potatoes. If I repeat this recipe at my own house, it will definitely be the sweet potato version.
Street-Cart Style Chicken and Rice
For the Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- Chopped fresh mint and/or cilantro, optional
For the chicken (or sweet potatoes):
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (or 2-3 lbs sweet potatoes)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
For the Rice:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of cayenne
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- cilantro for garnish
- fresh tomatoes, chopped
- Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Cover and refrigerate the sauce until ready to eat.
- Place the chicken thighs in a bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix together. (If using sweet potato, chop the sweet potato into 1 inch cubes and then mix with same oil and spice mixture.)
- Heat a large heavy bottom sauce pan (that has a lid) on medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil and let it get hot. Cook the chicken working in batches, about 4-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your chicken. Remove chicken to platter and tent with foil when finished. (If using sweet potato, roast at 400 F for 20 minutes or until tender).
- In the same pan you made the chicken in, add the butter, turmeric, cumin, salt, cayenne, and onion. Cook a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the basmati rice. Mix the rice with the spices and onion and cook a few minutes.
- Add the broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all visible broth is gone from rice. Turn heat off and let rice sit, covered for 10 minutes.
- Chop the chicken into small pieces. Serve the chicken or sweet potato on top of a bed of rice. Drizzle with yogurt sauce and top with copped fresh cilantro and tomatoes.