Yogurt marinated chicken. Might sound strange to you….but please don’t be afraid. There’s something about the enzymes in the yogurt that really tenderize the meat and keep the chicken tender and moist and flavorful. And that’s super important….in my humble opinion….when cooking with chicken breasts. Chicken breasts are great b/c lower in fat and high in protein – but sometimes they just get so…blah. The spices and the tenderness of this recipe will help you get out of the chicken breast blues….if you happen to find yourself in that state. Ha!
I was a good girl and remembered to make this in the morning – so my chicken sat for 8 hours in the marinade. I was pretty proud of myself!
Here’s what you’ll need: Non-fat Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt….just make sure to drain out any extra water that is in the yogurt before marinating), 1 onion, cayenne, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
Side note: If this seems like too many spices for you – just use whatever you have on hand. This combination of spices is one that I use all of the time…it’s smoky from the cumin, bright from the coriander, and slightly sweet for the cinnamon. The turmeric adds color….it’s hard to describe the flavor of turmeric. It gives the chicken a great Mediterranean/Indian taste. If you want to use these spices but don’t have any….my suggestion is to go to an Indian or Mediterranean store rather than buy them at a regular grocery store. You’ll save yourself a lot of money going to an ethnic store. For example – cumin in the spice aisle at Giant Eagle is $5.79 for a small jar. At the Indian store it’s $1.99 for triple the amount. Definitely worth it. If you’re nervous about going into the stores….don’t be! I was nervous my first time too….and I’ve found that everyone there is super helpful if you’re willing to ask for help. And if you don’t feel like asking for help – they ignore you the same way you would be ignored in Walmart or Giant Eagle!
Alright – so it’s super simple from this point forward – chop up the onion, mix the yogurt with the spices and there’s your marinade. Easy peasy. I cut slits into my chicken breasts so the marinade would penetrate into the chicken….that’s a personal preference. After 8 hours of marinating – take the chicken out of the fridge and allow it to sit in room temperature for 10 minutes – then cook on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop. We went with the grill b/c I’m loving the flavor of the grill right now! Over medium heat the chicken breasts will need about 7 minutes per side on the grill or stovetop. I served the chicken with grilled asparagus and roasted garlic potatoes. Yummy!
Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken
For 6 chicken breasts
Click here for recipe.
1 c. non-fat Greek yogurt
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
½ t. turmeric
½ t. cinnamon
½ t. cayenne
½ t. red pepper flakes
1 T. salt (seems like a lot – but remember – it’s for 6 chicken breasts)
6 chicken breasts – trimmed of all fat
Chop, grate, or mince 1 onion. Add onion to yogurt along with all spices and salt and pepper. Cut slits into the top side of the chicken breasts – about 3 per chicken breast. This allows the yogurt marinade to penetrate deeper into the chicken. Cover the chicken evenly with the marinade and refrigerate for 8 hours – up to 24 is good as well. Once you’re ready to cook the chicken – remove from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat grill to medium heat (about 350) and cook the chicken breasts for about 7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through completely. Nobody likes raw chicken! Serve with grilled veggies and garlic roast potatoes. Enjoy!