Yogurt-Cumin Chicken

photo 2A friend recently turned me on to Eat Your Books, a search engine for your cookbooks. I find it particularly helpful for searching through my more utilitarian cookbooks, the ones that don’t even register on the food porn scale. It’s no wonder that my first amazing discovery ended up within the pages of How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman’s hugely popular and best-known tome, clocking in at just under 1,000 pages.

I honestly don’t know if I would have ever found this recipe by flipping through the book. It’s a variation on another easily-missed, simply-named recipe (Spicy Chicken Thigh Kebabs), the ingredients quickly sketched out in a short paragraph underneath the template cooking instructions.

It calls for chicken thighs, my favourite cut of chicken to barbeque. I use bone-in thighs, as it’s much easier to barbeque them to the correct, safe temperature without overcooking.

Bittman suggests making these into kebabs, threading the meat onto skewers. I don’t bother with that step, choosing to barbeque and serve the thighs whole.

The marinade comes together easily, smells amazing and the first time I made it I was truly curious to find out how the chicken would end up tasting. I would love to be able to say that you can really taste the spices or the lime or the garlic. But I can’t. What you end up with is a really flavourful piece of chicken that tastes of barbeque and summer and all the good things that summer represents. As long as you don’t burn it – that yogurt really wants to catch. But even if you do burn it, quietly remove the burnt skin and eat it anyway – it’s still absolutely delicious.

Yogurt-Cumin Marinade
I find it easiest to mix up this marinade in a large (4-cup) glass measuring cup.  Then place the chicken thighs into a large freezer bag and pour marinade over top of them. Make sure the chicken (this recipe should cover about 4 pieces) is evenly coated and marinate, refrigerated, for 1 to 24 hours.

1 cup yogurt
1 medium onion, minced
1 tbsp minced garlic
the minced zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne, or to taste
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Try this on a hot day with a cool, crisp salad or one of the many chilled soup suggestions in Mark Bittman’s recent column: Gazpacho: Not Hot and Not a Bother. I’ve got my eye on the Thai Melon gazpacho recipe!

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