Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
There is something wonderfully glorious about chicken that is marinated in yogurt. It becomes incredibly tender and succulent, very moist and flavorful, without taking away from its own genius and taste. It only gets better when the yogurt marinade contains seasonings and garlic, and when the chicken rests in it for much of a day. The same yogurt marinade, after being microwaved to help allay any concerns over bacteria with raw chicken, then helps to form a delicious sauce that complements the chicken and the signature part of this recipe: 40 cloves of whole garlic, intermixed with the chicken where they provide, rather than an overpowering flavor that would have arisen if the cloves had been cut up, almost a sweetness and an honesty to the recipe. In fact, taking into account the garlic in the marinade, there are significantly more than 40 cloves of garlic in this recipe—certainly one should be wary of having enough supply! But the end result, with the incredibly tender chicken, the flavorful sauce, the sweet little mouthfuls of garlic, the taste of rosemary, thyme, and mint, all perfectly complementing each other and particularly superb when served over a grain like couscous or rice, is well worth it. That it makes a thoroughly beautiful dish, like something that could come out of any professional cooking magazine, only completes the picture.
This recipe is entirely my own, but I drew inspiration for it from two previous recipes I had made: chicken marinated in yogurt and chicken sauteed with garlic and rosemary. Both were in my admittedly biased opinion quite delicious, and so if one enjoys this recipe, I recommend looking at them for its sources.
- 2 1/2 lb chicken
- 45 cloves garlic, (5 peeled and chopped, the rest only peeled)
- 2 cups plain yoghurt
- 1/2 onion, grated
- 1/2 lemon, juice of
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons dried mint
- 3 teaspoons thyme
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- 12-24 hours before serving, start to marinate the chicken. Combine the yogurt, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 teaspoons dried mint, 2 teaspoons thyme, 1/2 grated onion, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and 5 peeled and chopped garlic cloves in a bowl. Add in 2 1/2 pounds of chicken which has been chopped into multiple pieces. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade. Conserve the yogurt and microwave it for 1 minute to help kill bacteria from the chicken (it will be cooked later as well but if you have concerns, simply dump it and replace it with an equivalent amount of fresh ingredients). Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until it is very hot, then add in the chicken pieces and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, 5 minutes on each side.
- Add in the 40 cloves of garlic, placing them around and under the chicken. Sauté until they begin to turn golden and brown, moving them constantly to prevent burning. then add in the yogurt, rosemary, and1 teaspoon dried mint. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve, over things such as rice, couscous, and bread.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas