Saturday, June 25, 2011

NYC Halal Chicken

Back in May, my daughter Mira and I took a day long trip to New York City to enjoy some shopping and of course, eating. Typically I make a point of eating something local wherever I go - doesn't have to be fancy, just something that I can't get at home. On prior trips, the Sabrett hot dog food cart was where I had lunch. I had figured it would be much the same this time. But on this trip there seemed to be an explosion of food carts catering to New York's Muslim population, all proudly displaying a halal sign. I couldn't resist and ordered the chicken. I figure that when immigrant people come to the US, we the lucky inhabitants get to eat more yummy food. And truly it was delicious. I realize that "halal" is a way of cooking as opposed to an actual recipe, so my Halal Chicken is named in honor of the food cart vendors who cook up this delicious food.

NYC Halal Chicken
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken
1/2 cup fat free Greek (strained) yogurt
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine garlic, seasonings, juice and yogurt and mix well. Add raw chicken (I used breasts), cut into pieces and marinate overnight. Grill on a flat top grill or saute in a skillet until golden and cooked through. Serve over rice pilaf, lettuce and fresh tomatoes. Drizzle with white sauce (recipe below) or your favorite tzatziki- or riata-style sauce. You can also serve with the white sauce on a bun. Yum-o-licious!

NYC Halal Chicken White Sauce
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.

Mira poses by a food cart in New York City.
Print This Recipe


  1. Just a comment to add on, Halal means the way the animal is slaughtered, which should be with a sharp knife and fast to cause less disastrous effect, ( rather than shocking the chicken of lamb),
    That chicken looks amazing :)

  2. Sorry meant chicken or lamb

  3. Thank you for the information! The chicken in New York is amazing. I can only hope that I have done those talented street chefs credit with my adaptation.

  4. Sam from AustraliaAugust 16, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    So long as your dish uses Halal meat, then it can be named a Halal dish.

    Nice looking dish though, unfortunately I dont agree with the chicken of NYC being nice. If you're American, I feel sorry for you as the food in other parts of the world has so much more flavour.

  5. Thank you for the compliment Sam. If you have a better recipe for a similar chicken dish I would love to have it. Send me what you think tastes spectacular - I would love to taste it!!!

    Unfortunately, the one who we should feel sorry for is you. You see, making blanket statements about something shows how little one has experienced. For example, I would never say I feel the cuisine in Japan is bad simply because the few times I had it were not so good. I know for a fact that there is plenty there that does taste good - I just haven't had it yet. I would never say all Arabs own a camel, or all Australians eat Marmite. All Texans don't ride horses and all Hawaiians don't wear grass skirts. American food does have flavor - maybe you just didn't try it all. America is a nation of immigrants from all the world over. The chicken I had in New York was American food made by immigrants from Pakistan. America blends it all from eastern European to Italian, Middle Eastern to Chinese and so on. It all becomes blended into American cooking. Surely you never tasted the regional cuisine of each part of the country. American food is all that plus the foods of the world brought by those immigrants. If you had extensive opportunity to eat everywhere you may have found something flavorful. So I feel bad for you that you either didn't experience much, or you lack understanding. Now if you were saying that American Fast Food doesn't have flavor I would completely agree with you!!!

    I look forward to a nice chicken recipe from you. I promise I would cook it and give it a taste. And I would probably love it too!!!

    Take care!

  6. Oh wow, that looks great. I'm gonna have to try it out. Very hearty.