I thought a lot about what to do for a main dish for yogurt week. There are so many possibilities…pasta with a yogurt based sauce, grilled meat with a yogurt sauce, curry…I could go on. But in the end, I went with a go-to dish, YOGURT AND HERB PANKO CHICKEN. It’s quick, easy, and open to so many combinations of ingredients.
You could use ground nuts mixed in with the breadcrumbs; you could use chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs instead of chicken thighs; you could use any number of herbs and/or seasonings, even citrus peel. Make this dish your own, be creative, have fun. After all, that’s what cooking is all about!
YOGURT AND HERB PANKO CHICKEN
2 pounds chicken drumsticks
3/4-1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped, fresh herbs (for example: Italian parsley, basil, thyme, chives)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place a wire cooling rack coated with cooking spray or olive oil on top.
In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs with olive oil and mix well with your hands. (The idea is to get the breading coated with the oil so that it browns in the oven.) In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, herbs, salt and pepper to taste, and a little milk to thin it. (Or, rather than use Greek yogurt and milk, you can simply use regular plain yogurt) Reserve about a 1/4 cup of the mixture in a separate bowl for dipping. Roll chicken in the yogurt mixture, coating well, then sprinkle and pat bread crumb mixture onto chicken. Place on cookie sheet rack and bake 30 minutes.
NOTE: I have a weird oven, combined with a fear of undercooked chicken, so I ALWAYS, ALWAYS,ALWAYS use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
Rosemary-Skewered Chicken with Lemon Garlic Yogurt Sauce
1 1/4 cups Greek Yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or oregano
salt and pepper
4 large skinned, boned chicken breasts
8 firm stems of fresh rosemary, optional
For the sauce, mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-2 inch chuncks. Throw it all in a ziplock bag with yogurt mix (save some for dipping). Leave to marinate about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Thread chicken onto skewers, wooden, metal, or rosemary, and place on a greased baking sheet.
Cook about 15 minutes, turning until lightly browned and tender.
Pour remaining marinade into a saucepan and heat gently. Do not boil, or the mix will curdle. Serve with rice or on a bed of lettuce and garnish with lemon wedges and extra sauce for dipping.
(You can also add veggies to your skewers: cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow bell pepper.)