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Grilling season just got EXTRA JUICY with this delicious, succulent chicken deeply marinated in a tangy blend of yogurt, lemon, garlic, and a blend of Mediterranean inspired spices.
If you’ve ever used a yogurt marinade for grilled meat before then you need no convincing! Yogurt marinade yields poultry perfection, juicy and flavorful with a crispy charred exterior.
Yogurt tenderizes meat much more gently and effectively than regular acid-based marinades which can actually toughen proteins like chicken.
what kind of yogurt do I need?
You will definitely want to stick with Plain, no Vanilla. I usually have Greek yogurt in my fridge, which is much thicker than the regular variety. This worked just fine, but I needed to thin it out a bit by adding just about 1/4 cup of water.
What kind of chicken should I use?
We are a house divided! Half of us like white meat and half of us like dark, and we’ve got the one kid who can do either. This is why I used two different kinds of chicken for this recipe. But I highly suggest that you do what’s is best for your crowd.
Also you should consider whether you are wanting to make chicken kebobs or serve whole. Bone-In thighs will generally yield the juiciest results, however, it will not be conducive if you are wanting to grill on skewers. This recipe will work with whatever cut of meat you and your family/friends prefer.
How long should I leave the chicken in the yogurt marinade?
The yogurt marinade tenderizes the proteins in the meat, and so it’s really best to give it at least 8 hours to do it’s magic! I wouldn’t go more than a day, though. Believe it or not there is such a thing as OVERMARINADING! Try to shoot for 8-12 hours as a general rule.
Check out these sides for your Mediterranean Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken
Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken
- 3½ lbs chicken, breast or thighs boneless, skinless or bone-in, whatever is preferred
- 1 cup plain yogurt add ¼ cup water if using Greek yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp corriander
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ red onion cubed
- In large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, smashed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, salt, cumin, corriander, and cayenne pepper. If you are using a thick Greek yogurt you will need to add abotu 1/4 cup of water to thin it out.
- Trim chicken of extra fat or grizzle. If using bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, leave whole and place in a large ziplock bag. If using boneless for kebabs, cut into cubes and then place ziplock bag. Add the yogurt marinade, seal ziplock bag, and massage yogurt into chicken to make sure it's fully covered. Refridgerate for 8-12 hours.
- When ready to grill remove from marinade and place on aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Before grilling let chicken sit at room temperature for 30 mintures. If making kebabs, thread the chicken cubes onto metal skewers, alternating occasionally with the red onions. Be sure not to cram the skewers.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly grease grill. Place chicken and/or kebabs until golden brown on both sides and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F, about 20-25 mintues depending on your temperature.