chicken in cucumber mint yogurt sauce

chicken in cucumber mint yogurt sauce

Projects have been piling up for me.  I’ve been working as a consultant for an organization around the census and have de-prioritize cooking/blogging right now.  But that’s an excuse that none of you should listen to.  I think it was mainly overworking during the blogging marathon and just trying to take a break from it.  But, it’s been too long of a break and I am determined to get back into writing again. The blogging marathon was fun.  It was extremely exhausting and challenged me in so many ways.  But in the end it was a real good feeling of accomplishment.  If my one month was altered and packaged for mass viewing and Hollywood marketing, then it would totally feel like Julie and Julia.  It was fun though; another themed marathon may make another appearance in this blog again.

But now on this beautiful day in New York City, I feel inspired to continue this blog and provide the frequent updates I promised I would do.  First up, a chicken marinated in cucumber yogurt sauce that can be roasted or grilled and is tender enough to only use a fork and butter knife.  (I’ve still yet to grow up and get a set of steak knives for my kitchen).  I always knew that yogurt was a good marinade for meats, especially when I get my hands on some delicious chicken from the local South Asian community a couple of stops down.  But the science behind it, that’s what is exciting.  I’m like one of the kids who is over at Mr. Wizard’s house as he shows me experiments.  Wait, I just realized how deranged and unsafe that show’s premise was.  My childhood is a lie.

Much like how many fried dishes ask to soak the chicken parts in buttermilk, yogurt provides the live cultures and enzymes to help break down and tenderize the chicken.  Because the yogurt is so thick, you can ensure even coating of the chicken and make sure that the enzymes are breaking it down evenly.  Marinating chicken in yogurt is pretty simple and a great way to easily add flavor to a chicken.  It’s a good base that doesn’t alter the flavor too much.  Use Greek yogurt, it’s thick enough to make a really good coating because it is double strained and gives a subtle tartness that isn’t overpowering to flavors you add or to the chicken.  Your not making chicken flavored yogurt.

I decided to stay in the Greek realm with my flavors.  You can really use anything you want.  Measurements also don’t really matter either when it comes to this dish.  Just make sure you keep on tasting the yogurt before you mix it with the raw meat.  Also, this makes a great yogurt dip with chips and veggies (sans mixing with raw meat juices).  I reserved some for additional sauce on top.  Add some cayenne to the chicken to spice it up, the reserved dip will help cool it down.  Promise.


2½ lb chicken, broken down

1 17 oz. container of Greek yogurt

2 tbs garlic, minced

½ cup onion,  minced

1½ cup cucumber, diced

3 tbs herbs (parsley, oregano, and mint), minced

½ tbs lemon zest

2 tbs lemon juice

2½ tsp salt

3½ tsp black pepper, ground

2 tbs honey

¼ cup olive oil


dry chicken pieces by patting with a paper towel and season with 1 tsp of salt and pepper each, set aside

mix rest of ingredients in a bowl

reserve ½ cup of the yogurt to serve later

toss marinade with chicken in a bowl and refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours

preheat oven to 415˚f

bring chicken to room temperature and transfer to a roasting pan

roast chicken for 15 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part of meat is pierced

– serves 4-6 –


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