Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Yogurt-and-Herb-Marinated Chicken with Dried-Apricot Sauce

Thick, creamy, Greek yogurt makes a flavorfully rich marinade for poultry and helps keep the meat moist and tender even when cooked at a high temperature. I added a splash of lemon and fresh herbs and allowed the chicken to marinate a full 24 hours. If you can’t prepare it that far in advance, give it at least eight hours in the fridge to soak up the tangy, floral essence of the yogurt-herb mixture.

The sauce here is sweet, rich, and incredibly simple. Dried apricots add texture while complementing the apricot jam. You can use preserves in place of jam, but decrease the cooking time a bit because the preserves will thicken faster than the thinner jam.


For the Chicken
  • 1 7-oz container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 4- to 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to an even thickness (about 1/3 inch)
  • 2 small rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Marinade Ingredients
For the Sauce
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Apricot Jam and Dried Apricots

For the Chicken
  1. Combine the yogurt, cilantro, oregano, lemon juice, and cumin in a bowl. Place the chicken and rosemary in a heavy, sealable plastic bag. Add the yogurt mixture and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate at least 8 hours (or overnight).
Chicken and Rosemary Ready for Marinade
Chicken in the Marinade
  1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, scraping off excess. Season with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown and just cooked through, 12-14 minutes total, depending on thickness. Note: The chicken and marinade will release considerable liquid during the first several minutes of cooking. Simply allow the liquid to cook down and the chicken will then begin to sear and turn golden.
  3. Transfer to a plate and let rest 3 minutes.
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Chicken
Serve the chicken with sauce (recipe follows) spooned on top.

For the Sauce
  1. Heat a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the dried apricots, preserves, and vinegar and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens slightly, 10-12 minutes. 
  2. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Sauce Beginning to Cook
Dried-Apricot Sauce
Yogurt-and-Herb-Marinated Chicken with Dried-Apricot Sauce

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