Greek Chicken

picture1040Why is this Greek Chicken so spectacular?  It’s just marinated and oven baked – fast and easy, no fancy schmancy kitchen skills needed.  The secret is in the marinade.  This is not your typical oil and acid marinade – it’s made with a yogurt base.  That’s right, yogurt – stay with me for a moment here.  The enzymes in yogurt are perfect for tenderizing meat, and yogurt itself easily takes on the flavors of the other marinade ingredients – lemon, parsley, garlic, etc.  The end result is plump chicken with rich flavor.  Give it a try!

picture1037Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)

1 fresh, whole chicken, cut into pieces

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Juice from 1 lemon

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Step 1) Combine yogurt, olive oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and parsley in a medium bowl.  Stir until well blended.

Step 2) Score each piece of chicken several times with a sharp knife.

picture1038Step 3) Generously coat each piece of chicken with the yogurt marinade, using a basting brush.  “Pile” chicken into a large bowl; this keeps both sides of each piece of chicken in contact with the marinade.  Pour any remaining marinade over top of the pile.

Step 4) Cover the bowl with foil, and refrigerate for at least1 hour, but no more than 24 hours.  This marinade seems to work faster than other marinades I’ve used.  While I always recommend marinating all day if possible, you’ll still get good flavor with this recipe if you only have an hour.

Step 5) Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking, and rearrange chicken so that it can bake in a single layer.

Step 6) Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the meat (but not against a bone!) reads 165 degrees.  Tip:  I bake the smaller pieces (wings, drumsticks) on a their own pan, as these pieces are usually ready to come out of the oven at least 10 minutes before the larger pieces (breasts, thighs). Serve with a salad and your choice of sides.

Opa!

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