Turkish chicken is similar to Tandoori chicken in terms of using a yogurt marinade. Rather than using drumsticks, Turkish chicken requires chicken breasts. And there is no curry. The acidity of the yogurt and lemon juice helps tenderize and keep the chicken breasts moist. A bit of hot paprika or cayenne pepper adds some kick to this Turkish chicken. Due to my dietary restrictions, I am unable to use dairy yogurt wit this chicken and non-dairy yogurt is hard to find where I live. I used soy milk instead which worked just as well. Like Tandoori chicken, Turkish chicken requires at least an hour of marination. Turkish chicken serves well with grains and pasta. You can serve each chicken breast whole like I did or cut them up into pieces. Although not necessary, I added some sauted onions to this chicken. If you decide to cut them up, reduce the cooking time as chicken breasts are vulnerable to drying out very easily. Stuff leftovers in a pit with some salad.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 4 lbs of skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 cup of soy milk, yogurt or non-fat plain yogurt
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons of hot paprika or cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of fresh mint chopped
- Salt and pepper for taste
Pound and butterfly chicken breasts. Place chicken breasts in a bowl. Add lemon juice and toss to coat. Whisk soy milk, garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, mint, salt and salt in a separate bowl. Pour the yogurt/soy milk mixture over the chicken and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place the chicken on a broiler rack and broil until browned on top, about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake until the chicken is juicy and just cooked through, about 15 minutes longer. (Thigh meat will appear dark pink, even when cooked through.) Serve immediately.
Yields 4 servings