You Can Totally Marinate Meat in Flavored Yogurt

You Can Totally Marinate Meat in Flavored Yogurt

My fridge is well-stocked with dairy. Cheese, sour cream, labneh, yogurt, every type of liquid dairy known to cow-kind, from milk to heavy whipping cream—I have it all. One thing you won’t usually find in there is flavoured yogurt. (I usually buy a big tub of plain and stir in strawberry jam or honey.) But recently, I saw a big tub of Tillamook strawberry yogurt on sale, so I snagged it, figuring I could use it for protein shakes and the like.

The problem with flavoured yogurt is you are limited to that (sweet, usually fruity) flavour profile. It makes an easy breakfast or snack, but marinating meat in it would be weird—or so I thought. It turns out you actually can marinate meat in flavoured yogurt, to delicious results.

I grabbed some boneless skinless chicken thighs (which were also on sale), then slathered four of them in strawberry yogurt, with a little added salt, and let them hang out in my fridge for eight hours. I roasted them in a hot oven, followed by a quick stint under the broiler, and strawberry yogurt chicken was born.

It was delightful, impossibly juicy and tender—thanks to the lactic acid—with a subtle, fruity sweetness. The sugars in the yogurt caramelized under the broiler, creating bubbly broiled bits with tons of flavour. I chopped some fresh strawberries and basil in my food processor with a little bit of olive oil, sugar, and salt, but that—in the end—turned out to be lily-gilding, and I found myself avoiding the fruity sauce so I could better taste the chicken.

You are, of course, not limited to strawberry yogurt or even chicken. Pineapple or cherry yogurt would be downright decadent with pork, and lemon yogurt would be lovely on lamb. Just smear it on, let it sit, then roast or sear however you usually would. Your meat will be tender, juicy, and well-browned, with a touch of subtle, fruity whimsy.

Strawberry Yogurt Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Mix the yogurt and salt together and toss with the chicken in a large bowl to coat. Cover and let marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Heat your oven to 400℉ (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wipe the excess yogurt off the chicken and place the chicken on the baking sheet, unfolding it as needed so it’s as even as possible. Roast for 15 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉ (74C). Switch on the broiler for a few minutes to brown, then remove from the oven, slice, and serve immediately.


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