I have always loved Arabic cultures and travel towards Middle East (who doesn’t) since I was a little girl. Maybe this desire to travel was given to me by my uncle. He was always out and about traveling to a new place in search of new experiences. Today I want you to bring in the Middle East with this crunchy and delicious Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade recipe.
I have started to travel only recently in the Middle East. Every time I have the chance to do so I find myself lost in those narrow streets and I have the feeling to be at home away from home. During those trips, I have the luck of meeting beautiful people. Like that time in Israel when a friend of mine invited me to spend the weekend with her and her family’s kibbutz. We went to the square Market in Tel Aviv that morning, to buy some fresh ingredients. I was overwhelmed by the colors and the variety of the vegetables in the stalls – many of them I have never seen before. I felt the need to cook for them an Italian dish: Aubergine’s Parmigiana. And not just because I have an unnatural love for aubergines, but it seems they have a deep love for this vegetable too.
The Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade recipe that I am going to share with you reminds me of the dishes I have tasted in those very local markets. Where the process of marinating is a fundamental part of cooking.
Let's see, the main ingredients we need to make this yummy Greek yogurt chicken marinade:
- Chicken thighs- marinated for 12 hours with Greek yogurt. It makes the meat tender, and it will give that lovely crunchiness to the skin.
- Curry- a mix of spices, cumin powder, turmeric powder, ginger powder, sweet paprika.
- Greek yogurt- helps to keep the meat soft and moist.
- Basmati rice- steamed with curry leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and lemon skin. The lemon and curry rice is a recipe from Ottolenghi from the book "Plenty more". My guru when it comes to Middle East chefs.
Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade is very easy, tasty, and quick to make. It matches perfectly with lemon and steamy curry rice, which is not difficult to make it. The ingredients are widely available in every supermarket, in this case, you have no excuses. Let's make it!
Greek Yogurt Chicken Marinade
- Baking paper
- Alluminuim foil
- Medium oven tray
- Medium Bowl
- Ovenproof pan or tray 12x15 cm
- Small saucepan
- Chopping board
- 4 chicken thighs with skin
- 1 clove garlic cut it into small slices
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 150 gr Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 340 ml cold water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cloves
- ½ lemon shaved rind
- 12 fresh leaves of curry or 18 leaves of dry curry
- 200 gr basmati rice rinsed soaked in water for 15 minutes and well drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 30 gr unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Marinade 12 hours before
- Place the chicken tights, the spices, the salt, the black peppercorn, the garlic cut it into small slices, and the olive oil in a medium bowl and mix well all the ingredients.
- Once is all well combined, pour the Greek yogurt and mix well, cover with a cling film and leave for 12 hours to rest.
- When the half day has passed, preheat the oven to 200°C /180°C Fans.
- Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon rind, curry leaves, salt in a medium saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to boil on medium heat. Once the water has started to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
- Spread the rice in a roasting tray or in an ovenproof pan, 12x15 cm. Cover the rice with boiling water and aromatics and stir well. Lay some greaseproof paper over the rice and the water, cover again with some foil to seal the roasting tray. Place it in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
- In an oven tray, covered with some baking paper, place the chicken thighs with the skin face up and pour all the creamy texture on top of it. Drizzle with some Olive oil and cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove the rice from the oven and leave to sit, covered, for 9 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a medium heat on a small pan until is very hot, remove from the heat and pour the lemon juice and swirl together to mix.
- Remove the foil and the greaseproof paper from the rice and pour this over the rice and fluff it up with a fork. Now cover again the steamy rice until the chicken is ready.
- Once the Chicken is ready serve it on a plate with some rice and drizzle over some fresh yogurt and some juices from the cooking of the chicken.