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recipe: street-style mid-east chicken and white sauce

July 19, 2011

I’ve never been to the Mediterranean nor the Middle East but I absolutely love food from there. I’m sure the stuff I’ve tasted here in the States (like kebabs, tabouleh, hummus, etc) can’t compare but I still enjoy eating it, that’s for sure. Well the other day, I was scouring the interwebs for dinner ideas and I came across this recipe from Huffington Post – halal chicken or street-style chicken. You may think you’re not familiar with halal chicken but most likely you’ve seen it at a state fair or carnival. To put it in simple terms, it’s marinated chicken cooked with onions and served with basmati rice (or whatever rice you have). I had it most recently at our town’s jazz fest, several months ago, and it was good considering it was made from a huge batch (though the chicken was slightly overcooked). I was super excited to try this!

Some notes before the recipe:

1. I used boneless chicken tenderloins instead of the recommended boneless chicken thighs, because it’s what I already had in the freezer.
2. I removed some of the liquid as I was cooking the marinated chicken, because it seemed there was a bit too much.
3. Next time I make the accompanying sauce, I won’t use the amount of salt the recipe recommended. The sauce ended up being a bit too salty for my taste (and for my own health, I think) so next time, I think I’ll do just ½ a tbsp or season it according to taste.

Street-Style Mid-East Chicken (from Huffington Post)
Serves 4


  • 8 to 10 boneless chicken tenderloins, cubed
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¾ cup plain greek yogurt
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced thinly lengthwise

1. Combine all the spices along with the garlic, lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl. Lightly add salt & pepper (maybe a couple of pinches of each seasoning).
2. Mix in the yogurt, stirring well.
3. Add the chicken pieces and onions, making sure to coat everything with the yogurt mixture. Cover the bowl tightly with foil and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour. (If you have more time, marinate overnight. I was in a rush so 1 hour was better than nothing.)
4. When ready, heat remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat. Add the chicken & onions into the skillet and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. (At this point, I removed a bit of the cooking liquid (marinade) because there was so much of it. Once I removed about 1/8 cup of the marinade, the chicken started browning. Take care to cook it so it browns nicely but not burned. By removing some of the cooking liquid, you’ll start to get the brown bits forming at the bottom of the skillet. You’ll need to scrape this stuff up every so often and mix it with the chicken.)
5. Once the chicken is cooked, serve with rice and white sauce (recipe below).

White Sauce (also from Huffington Post, very slightly adapted)


  • 8-10 oz plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp salt (I suggest using less, like ½ tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry dill
  • 1 tbsp cold water

1. Simple! Combine all the ingredients and mix well. If using less salt in the beginning, add additional salt to taste at this point.
2. It’s best to let the sauce sit in the fridge for maybe 30 minutes to an hour, to let the flavors meld together.
3. Serve with the chicken and rice.

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