Once the weather turns warm, our cooking options expand exponentially, thanks to the grill. Though we tell ourselves that we’ll grill all year long, the prospect of standing outside in 30 degree weather swiftly curtails that notion. And truth be told, I’m not much of a griller. I know how to turn it on and I can make something if I have to, but I’d much rather leave the heavy duty tasks to Johnny, who is fantastic at managing an open flame. Instead, I research recipes, gather ingredients and prep the food. It’s a partnership that produces delicious dinners and this chicken is no exception.
The June issue of Food and Wine is dedicated to grilling and this recipe in particular caught my eye because it promised juicy chicken, even if it stays on the grill a bit too long. Which, as anyone who grills can tell you, is a very easy mistake to make. After all, if you overcook chicken, the consequences are minimal: a few dry bites here and there. Under cook it and you’ll be spending the night alongside your toilet bowl, or worse. Not only did this chicken remain juicy, but the flavor profile is pronounced and delicious. It reminded us of a Middle Eastern dish. The cumin and cayenne add just the right amount of spice and the lemon juice, cilantro and yogurt keep it light and summery. This is a fab dish for your next party and can be used on bone in and skin on chicken legs, thighs and breasts. We have leftovers in the fridge and I can hardly wait for lunch!
Greek Yogurt-Marinated Chicken (adapted from Food and Wine, June 2014)
1 cup 2 percent fat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the yogurt with the cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne, cumin, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Seal the bag and transfer to a baking dish. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before grilling.
Set up a gas grill for indirect grilling, then heat to 400° and oil the grate. Remove the chicken from the marinade, scraping off any excess; discard the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set the chicken on the grate over indirect heat. Close the grill and cook, turning once, until the chicken is browned and nearly cooked through, about 25 minutes; use a spray bottle filled with water to stop flare-ups.