My Favorite Grilled Chicken!
Fresh tasting, juicy and flavorful, this chicken is moist, tasty and soooo very easy to make. Only caveat – it is best if the chicken is marinated for at least 3 hours, but preferably 8-12 hours.
This chicken is one of my favorites to make, and I wanted to share the recipe as we approach the start of the grilling season (when is not grilling season!!). It has a similar flavor profile to many marinaded Indian meats that I grew up eating and tastes great with basmati rice or naan bread, but is also delicious with a fresh green salad of bibb lettuce with lots of tomatoes and cucumbers.
Unlike many marinades that use lemon juice or vinegar to tenderize, this chicken is marinated in Greek yogurt which tenderizes more gently, slowly and effectively over an elongated time frame. The lactic acid present in the yogurt is the gentlest tenderizing acid and needs more time to do its magic, thus the recommendation to marinate for 8-12 hours. Believe me, the wait is worth it!
Like all marinades, the yogurt will be the first thing to cook when your meat hits the grill. In most marinades the sugar is the first thing to caramelize but with a yogurt-based marinade the dairy is the first to caramelize creating a uniquely textured and flavorful crust. Ooooh! Sooooo Good!
So BE BRAVE with me and try out this Indian spice inspired chicken. If you are not a big fan of this flavor profile, you can substitute your favorite spice mix instead of the Chicken Curry rub and garam masala. Either way using this yogurt-based marinade approach to your summer grilling is unbelievably delicious!
Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken
2 chicken breasts
1 large white onion, chopped and then ground in a food processor
2 tablespoons garlic paste (or 8-10 cloves of garlic added to food processor)
1 tablespoon ginger paste (or ½ inch of ginger chopped and added to food processor)
1 cup Plain Greek yogurt
2-3 tablespoons O&V Chicken Curry rub *
1 ½ tablespoons garam masala (divided) *
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
I cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
Slit green chilies (Thai chilies)
Sliced white onions
Sprinkle of paprika
Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally (butterfly and cut through to create 4 pieces of chicken) to create thinner pieces of meat.
In a food processor, grind the onion, garlic, ginger with the Greek yogurt. Add the chicken curry rub, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, pepper, salt, lime juice and cilantro. Blend till smooth.
Marinate the chicken in a plastic zip lock bag with the yogurt mixture for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight
Heat a grill to medium high, brush the grill grate with oil. Shake the excess marinade off the chicken pieces and grill for about 4 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.
Serve warm with a side of naan bread, garnished with slit green chilies, sliced onion, lime wedges, cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of paprika
Total Time: 30 minutes plus time for marinating (3-12 hours)
* I use the Chicken Curry Rub from Oil & Vinegar as I find the chicken curry rub to be a nice option versus buying individual spices, but you can also use a combination of cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, roasted and ground fennel seeds. Email me for the specifics on how to create this mix.
* Garam Masala is a spice blend widely used in north Indian cuisine and is a blend of whole spices of nutmeg, peppercorns, cinnamon, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom pods that have been dry toasted to release their aromatic flavors, then ground to a powder. You can purchase it at any Indian grocery store and even at some well stocked spice departments in regular grocery stores. Or you can purchase it online from Masala Mama.
Categories: Entree, Poultry, Gluten Free, Snacks & Sides, Grilled Chicken, Marinated Chicken, Yogurt, Chicken Curry Rub, Garam Masala, Cilantro, Thai Chilies, Summer Grilling, Easy Entertaining, Summer Dinner, Why Marinate in Yogurt, Juicy Grilled Chicken, The Best Grilled Chicken