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Suzy's Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce

Suzy Karadsheh2 Comments
Suzy's Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce

Suzy's Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce

Suzy's Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce | © Suzy Karadsheh

I made this Mediterranean grilled chicken recipe for the first time back in 2003 to celebrate my daughter's first birthday. (Not so much for the little one, who was happy with a dinner of birthday cake, but for the rest of our family and friends.) Ever since, it’s become a favorite go-to recipe for warm-weather grill nights. I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs here, which are both cheaper and juicier than chicken breasts. To give them maximum flavor, I make a nice rub with lots of minced garlic, allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom. I then marinate them overnight in the fridge with some lemon juice, olive oil, and sliced red onions. Serve the chicken with Greek potatoes or pita bread and a simple fattoush salad. The Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce makes the dish extra-special. 

Makes 8 servings

For the sauce:

1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped fresh dill fronds (no stems)
1-1/4 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
Kosher salt, to taste

For the chicken:

10 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium red onion, sliced
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
Fresh dill fronds, for garnish

Make the sauce: Combine the garlic, dill, yogurt, olive oil, lemon (or lime) juice and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Turn on, and let run until the ingredients are well-blended, smooth, and thick. Season with salt, to taste. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to use.

Make the chicken: In a small bowl, mix the garlic, paprika through black pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pat the chicken thighs dry. Rub evenly with the garlic-­spice mixture. Arrange the red onion slices in a casserole dish. Set the chicken on top. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and toss lightly, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, or overnight.

To finish: Heat a grill to medium-­high heat (roughly 400°F to 450°F). Scrape the grates clean. With tongs, lift the chicken thighs onto the grill grates. (Discard the onions and the marinade.) Grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side, flipping once, or until cooked through (a thermometer should read 165°F) but still juicy. Garnish with fresh dill fronds and serve with the Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce.

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Words, Recipe + Photograph © Suzy Karadsheh