Grilled Yogurt Chicken
I have had this distant memory of grilled chicken sort of floating through my head for some time now. It was a previous recipe I had tried several years ago, but for the life of me I could not remember how to make it. I could vaguely recall ingredients including chicken, yogurt, garlic, and cumin. For some reason kebabs kept coming to mind and I definitely remembered that it tasted awesome. So now, deep into ‘the transfer’, which is what I have been calling the never ending process of putting all my recipes into my computer, it was nowhere to be found. The goldenrod colored sticky-note with writing in black pen that I have been looking for for months now, I was positive was gone.
Mmmm…but that chicken was so good! Maybe I could just try and create it from memory and tweak from there…
Then I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit developed by this couple. Alas! It jogged my memory and I quickly grabbed the first piece of paper I could find (which just happened to be in my pile of recipes waiting to be filed) and started scribbling down ingredients. Suddenly, I stopped and really looked at the paper. Of course, it was a goldenrod sticky-note. I flipped it over and you know what it said? Yogurt Chicken Kebabs. Chicken. Yogurt. Garlic. Cumin. Grill. No wonder I couldn’t remember anything else. That was all there was to the dish!!
So after an exasperated sigh and a very disgusted “Are you kidding me?” I created this. I like it much better than my first few attempts, so I figure it is safe to pass it on to you! Now for all you who are cringing and saying to yourself “Yogurt? And chicken? That is way to weird for me!”-just relax. Have you ever come across a recipe for fried chicken that had you soak it in buttermilk first? This is the same concept. While the yogurt does impart a bit of tangyness to the chicken, its main purpose is making it moist and full of flavor all the way through, not just on the surface. Unlike similar recipes, this one is quite subtle. The flavors are soft and suggestive, not an in your face spice fest! Garam masala, an Indian spice blend, is a common flavor used in recipes like this, but I like to pick and choose my spices individually. Well, that and the fact that garam masala can be hard to find and I wouldn’t use it nearly as often as I use the separate spices that are in it.
So now, I can toss my bright little sticky-note in the recycling bin, as the recipe is now in my computer. Phew! One down, a bazillion to go. One Year Ago: Banana Bran Muffins
Grilled Yogurt Chicken
This chicken is absolutely scrumptious. It is very easy to throw together and goes with just about anything. I kind of treat it like a good, plain chicken that has a bit of personality. Cold leftovers are spectacular sliced on a sandwich or chunked onto a salad.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 c plain, low fat yogurt (not vanilla!)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small or 1/2 large, onion, cut into large chunks
hefty drizzle of olive oil-maybe a 1/4 c
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom (optional-although I highly recommend it)
Combine all ingredients in a large zip top bag, squishing everything to mix it well. Marinade the chicken, in the fridge for AT LEAST 3-4 hours(for good flavor), but can be as long as overnight if you like. Grill on a well oiled grill over medium heat (indirect if charcoal), taking care to remove the extra marinade as you go. I just pull the pieces out of the bag with a tongs and use my other hand to grasp the outside of the bag and scrape them off as I go. The marinade will burn if there is too much. Depending on the thickness of your chicken, it will take about 4 minutes a side. Don’t overcook it! You want it firm, but not dry. Let it rest for five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before you slice it.