Greek Yogurt is the secret ingredient in this chicken kabob marinade.
Is there anything Greek yogurt can’t do? I personally drink it in a fruit smoothie every morning and make an array of dips from it like my Sun-Dried Tomato Tzatziki. But one of my favorite ways to use it is in a marinade like in these Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kabobs. They’re a family favorite, and my Los Angeles personal chef clients request it all the time. By combining just a few simple ingredients (Greek yogurt, lemon, dried oregano, salt, and pepper), you not only infuse maximum flavor, you keep your chicken from drying out as well.
Greek yogurt is a thicker, more protein-concentrated than European-style yogurt. In this recipe use 5% or 2% fat. If you can’t get your hands on Greek yogurt (I recommend Fage), then you can strain regular yogurt through a cheese cloth inset into a colander in the refrigerator overnight. We’re using plain yogurt here. No need for any flavors, or sweetness, or fillers. Always make sure when you’re buying yogurt to read labels. You might be surprised what you find especially in lower fat flavored yogurts. All in all, you don’t need any of that. If you want to sweeten up your yogurt, just do what the Greeks do and add a bit of honey.
What chicken to use
This Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kabob recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken thighs. You can use chicken breasts or chicken tenders. I personally find chicken breasts to be lacking in taste and they are less forgiving and can dry out. Luckily, the yogurt marinade will help that immensely. Just make sure to pay attention to how it is cooking. I recommend medium indirect heat on the grill. Temp it, and pull it when it hits 160ºF. Carryover cooking will bring it to a perfect 165ºF. With chicken thighs, it’s ok to go over. They will still be tasty and juicy.
Grill vs. oven
The recipe step-by-step shows instructions for cooking these kabobs on the grill. You can also cook them in the oven. Just preheat your oven to 425ºF. I often set a rack into a baking sheet and cook them on that. This ensures the heat can circulate around the kabobs. The cooking time is about the same, but check with an instant read thermometer to make sure you pull them at the correct temperature.
Marinade: one and done
When you’re making this marinade it will smell so savory and delicous. But it’s important to note that after you marinate the chicken in it, you need to throw the rest of it away. The leftovers are not suitable for a sauce because you’ve been nestling your raw chicken in it. If you want a sauce for your chicken kabobs, try the tzatziki I mention above, or a traditional cucumber tzatziki, or even just a quick whisk of extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and garlic (called ladolemono in Greek).
What are your favorite things to grill during the summer? Let me know in the comments!