Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce & Grilled Chicken

Finally, folks! Here is the first in a series of long-awaited Beach Trip Cooking Posts! Oh yayer! I know you’re as excited as I am!

Before we left for Rehoboth Beach, DE (over a week ago now) I had grandiose plans for laying out a menu for each day, shopping ahead of time, marinating meats over night, bringing an ice-pack bag for delicate foods or spices from my own cupboard.

Yeah none of that happened. Work was crazy, The BF moving in cause mental havoc I couldn’t overcome and I was just tired. We left for the beach on a Wednesday and I’d had a friend staying with me until the Sunday before. It was just. Too. Much.

Fast forward to Wednesday, the day we were set to leave. Of course the day before you’re supposed to be out on vacation it’s like the whole world voms in your Outlook Inbox! So in between meetings, prepping documents and taking phone calls I hopped on Epicurious with a vague idea of what I’d like to cook. This, our first recipe in the beach installment, was born of me wanting to marinate chicken in a greek yogurt sauce.

If you’re anything like The BF you are totally weirded out by the idea of a) marinating in dairy and b) grilling dairy. Well, I wasn’t and so off we went. (Ever heard of buttermilk chicken? Yeah.) I didn’t want a predictable tzatziki, and the abundance of cilantro at the markets has really inspired me lately…so when I found this recipe I was done looking.

It was easy enough to pull together, and very refreshing. As a marinade…eh…it’s a toss up. I’m not sure the meat gained too much from marinating it in the sauce except for an occasional note of charred cilantro, but it was a nice thought. What it was good for was dipping the grilled-to-perfection chicken in after the fact!

If you are using the sauce as a marinade, like we did, be sure to reserve about 3/4 cup for dipping the chicken or veggies later! This leaves you enough sauce to marinade up to four thick chicken breasts. I went for boneless, skinless.


Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from Gourmet, 2007

  • 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I could see using lime juice here, too.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • Stir together all ingredients with 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), then chill, covered, at least 30 minutes (for flavors to blend). Bring to room temperature before serving

    7 thoughts on “Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce & Grilled Chicken

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    4. Hey I just found this recipe, and I have to say that I LOVE it. It’s delicious and so versatile! It works well as a salad dressing, too… and if you use fat-free greek yogurt (it’s just as thick as full-fat), it takes all of the calories out of it, which is a nice touch.

      One thing I found that works really nicely is if you rub the chicken with spices before grilling it. I used paprika, curry powder and chili powder and the contrast between that and the yogurt is amazing!

      You’d better believe I’ll be making this for years.

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