ShareThis Page
Yogurt marinade locks in flavor |
Food & Drink

Yogurt marinade locks in flavor

Marilyn Forbes
| Saturday, September 20, 2014 5:16 p.m
Grilled Turkish Chicken

There is still time to enjoy an outdoor barbecue as autumn approaches. Barbecued chicken is really simple to prepare and is a good standby dish for casual backyard parties. When I am cooking it with a traditional sweet tomato-based sauce, I don’t marinate it, because the sugar in the sauce will burn the chicken. But marinating overnight in this yogurt sauce is the secret to locking in the flavor and producing tender, succulent chicken.

When I developed this recipe, I wanted the flavors of Turkey along with the Indian cooking technique of yogurt-marinated chicken. Rather than roasting these in a very hot oven, I like to barbecue the chicken pieces until nicely crisped and bursting with citrus undertones. The combination of spices brings together an appealing, slightly spicy flavor. Chicken breasts and a cut-up chicken provide variety for both white- and dark-meat preferences. You can also use cut-up chicken-breast pieces threaded on skewers.

I like to serve this for informal dinners. Start with a simple arugula salad and accompany the chicken with a cold vegetable or rice salad. Don’t forget to serve the reserved sauce on the side with some warm pita bread. You can also serve this cold.

Contact Diane Rossen Worthington at

Grilled Turkish Chicken With Yogurt Sauce

For the marinade and sauce:

2 cups plain 2-percent or full-fat Greek-style yogurt

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium shallots, finely chopped

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

34 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 lemons, thinly sliced

3 medium whole chicken breasts, halved

1 fryer chicken (about 3 12 pounds) cut into pieces

1 small bunch parsley, for garnish

Thoroughly combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Add the sliced lemons and taste for seasoning.

Reserve 1 cup of the marinade with some of the lemon slices for the sauce. Refrigerate.

Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and, using your hands, evenly coat all the pieces with the marinade. Cover the chicken and refrigerate overnight and up to 24 hours for the best flavor, turning the pieces occasionally.

Prepare a grill for medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill it 3 inches from the flame for 7 to 12 minutes on each side, depending on the size.

Place the chicken on a serving platter and garnish it with parsley. Serve immediately with the reserved sauce.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Categories: Food Drink
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.