This recipe is largely influenced by all of the amazing Indian food I have been eating since living on the east coast. The yogurt marinade really tenderizes and helps to brine the chicken much in the same way a buttermilk brine would. I came up with a blend of warm spices and fresh ginger to flavor the chicken.
For serving, I blended toasted cumin seeds with hot basmati rice as aside, plus naan or pita bread and a wonderful Lemon-Mint Raita.
- 8 chicken bone-in thighs
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 recipe Lemon-Mint Raita (recipe follows), for serving
- Pita bread, for serving
- For yogurt marinade:
- 1 cups yogurt
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger, packed
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fine grated lemon zest
- Remove excess skin and fat from thighs and place in a resealable bag. Stir together the yogurt marinade ingredients until thoroughly combined and pour into bag with the chicken. Massage the bag so that all of the thighs are completely coated with yogurt marinade. Squeeze air from bag and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
- Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Brush and oil the grates when ready to start cooking.
- Remove chicken from the marinade and wipe away excess marinade. Pat the thighs dry with paper towels and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off. Discard the marinade.
- Generously season the thighs with salt and pepper and lay the chicken skin-side down on hot, oiled grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Rotate 90 degrees for crosshatch marks and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. The chicken should be well-cooked and no longer pink at the bone.
- Transfer chicken to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. While chicken rests, toast pita bread on the grill. Serve chicken with grilled pita and Lemon-Mint Raita.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ½ cip mint leaves, finely chopped
- Zest and juice from ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 clove garlic
- In a bowl, combine yogurt, chopped mint leaves, lemon zest and juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mince garlic and sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Using the side of a chef's knife, smash the garlic and salt into a paste. Scrape up and add to bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!