Grilled Chicken in Lemon Yoghurt marinade is a distinctive grilled chicken recipe for centuries. This grilled chicken recipe is simple and the lemon yoghurt marinade keeps the chicken tender and moist while the marinade also adds a subtle tangy and delicious flavor. The zest from the lemon rind adds that extra punch to the dish.
The grilled chicken in lemon yogurt marinade is slightly similar to the tandoori style of cooking but calls for mild and delicate flavors whereas the spices and masalas used in cooking the tandoori chicken is bold and robust. The tandoori chicken is unique in taste and has intense flavors all over. This recipe can also be so called, an adaptation from the tandoori chicken with fewer spices with unique taste.
There are many different ways to make chicken with yoghurt marinades and other sauces. The lemon yogurt marinade actually gives a tangy rich savor and tenderizes the meat for grilling. Most people mistake tandoori to be a recipe but, infact tandoor is a clay oven in which a hot fire is build and the marinated meats are lowered into the oven or grill and cooked in this smoky and extremely hot environment until done. Grilling is another best method of cooking the chicken instead of tandoor, as everybody would not have a tandoor at their homes. Grilling chicken on high intense fire reproduces excellent flavor, looks lovely with the grill marks and a smoky taste.
The key to cooking an exceptional grilled chicken is soaking up the chicken in the lemon yogurt marinade which produces a moist, succulent chicken. The meat is rested for several hours to absorb the flavor and tenderize the chicken. The marinade used in most of these chicken recipes start with yogurt as it has a natural acidity and is thick to hold the meat well and keeps the herbs and spices in place. You can use any type of ingredients for marinade of a combination of spices along with yogurt. Traditionally in chicken recipes like chicken roast or chicken tikka or kebabs, apart from yogurt and lemon juice, are flavored with ginger, garlic, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. Garam masala is a combination of roasted and ground cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. This spice mixture is great on practically anything you use it on because it imparts a mellow but savory flavor.
Marinades are splendid and make the simplest food also very appetizing and flavorful. The prime note is to just marinate the food and treat it like a sponge. Just pour the sauce and let it soak for few hours and cook to have a yummy, super delicious and enticing dish on your table. There are many different types of marinates including a teriyaki marinade for Asian dishes, marinades for steak or a yogurt-based marinade for Middle-Eastern dishes. Marinades typically consist of an acidic ingredient like vinegar, lemon juice, wine or yogurt, plus oil and spices.
To prepare this plush grilled chicken in lemon yogurt marinade, place 1 big chicken cut into big size pieces (breast, leg, drumstick etc) in a large bowl. Whisk together ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, ½ lemon juice, 4 cloves garlic and ginger minced or paste, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon herbs from Provence (any blend of dried Italia or Greek herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano etc) and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Add this sauce to the chicken pieces and toss very well to completely coat the chicken with this yogurt marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat grill. Remove chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess. Check and season with additional salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, if desired. Brush hot grates lightly with oil (spray with non-stick cooking spray to avoid sticking), and grill covered over medium heat. When the bottom side turns browned, flip it over and grill till it gets golden brown. You could spread the chicken with little oil and grill it. In just 15- 20 minutes it will be done, the chicken pieces will be juicy inside and crispy outside.
Serve with rice or pasta and salad and enjoy! This dish can also be eaten as a starter served with delicious coleslaw. For enhancing extra flavors into this dish, do accompany it with a luscious yoghurt spicy sauce. Prepare this by mixing ½ cup yoghurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon harissa or other hot sauce and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (optional). This sweet and spicy sauce goes exceptionally good with grilled chicken in lemon yoghurt sauce. Do try this recipe and enjoy its new earthy, smoky flavors
Tip: When you use a grill, the chicken is cooked over direct heat which makes it taste better. If you don’t have a grill, you could bake it in the oven, it works well too. Marination is the key to making flavorful and tasty grilled chicken. The more time you marinate the chicken, the better it tastes. So I would highly recommend marinating the chicken overnight in the refrigerator and grill it the next day. The aroma from the chicken while grilling absolutely seduces your taste buds.
This recipe is simple, super succulent, grilled lemon and yogurt chicken is just that. There is something special about what yogurt does to chicken waiting for its smoky, sizzling time over the charcoal. It imparts an amazing tangy flavor that elevates all the other flavorings and tenderizes it slightly, without turning the meat into mush. It grills to a caramelized dark brown without tasting burnt. Makes an incredible recipe as it is fat free, nutritious and healthy! Thus, hit it and enjoy on any picnic or party day.