Grilled Turmeric Chicken

This tumeric and yogurt marinated chicken is finished on the grill and served over rice with mint yogurt sauce and topped with a preserved lemon gremolata.  This is an easy middle eastern spin on grilled chicken that's perfect for summer.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

makes 1/2 quart

  • 1 C mint chopped
  • 1/2 C cilantro chopped
  • 2 C yogurt
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 1/2 C oil

Add all ingredients in to blender; blend until combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  This can be made in advance.

Saffron Rice

yields 2 servings

  • 1 cup of long grain rice
  • 2 cups of water, plus 2 T water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • pinch of saffron

Place 2 cups of water, olive oil, and salt in a medium non-stick saucepan.  Heat on high until water is boiling.  Add rice.  Continue to cook until rice tastes about 3/4 of the way done, almost al dente.  Strain rice and set aside.  Put sauce pan back on stove on low heat; add butter, remaining 2 T of water, and pinch of saffron.  Add strained rice back to pot.  Cover pot with two papertowels (careful not to let edges of paper towels come to close to burner) and fit pan lid on tightly.  Steam rice for about another 30 minutes, check for doneness; cook longer if needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Turmeric Grilled Chicken

yields 2 servings

  • 2 whole chicken legs

Marinade:

  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t cumin

Combine all ingredients for marinade.  Marinade chicken in fridge for 4-8 hours.  Remove chicken, discard marinade.  Set grill to medium-high heat and oil grates.  Grill chicken for 30-40 minutes on indirect medium-high heat; flipping occasionally.  Cook until chicken reaches 165°F.

Preserved Lemon Gremolata

  • 1 half of preserved lemon
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 t olive oil
  • finishing salt & pepper

Cut pulp and pith off of preserved lemon; discard.  Mince the preserved lemon rind.  Roughly chop parsley, add to lemon rind with oil and salt and pepper to taste; stir. 

Plating:

Spoon saffron rice on top plate.  Place grilled chicken leg directly in the center of plate on top of the rice.  Spoon mint yogurt sauce around the rice.  Top chicken with gremolata.

Pairing:

cocktail: Charred Lemon Gin & Tonic

beer:  An American Pale Ale with citrusy hop notes is recommended here.  American Pale Ales tend to finish clean and bitter; the flavors compliment the acidity in the dish. The hops aid in amplifying the lemon present in the marinade and in the gremolata.  Some beers to look for: Hill Farmstead Edward, Maine Beer Co. Peeper, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.