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