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I had paid a visit to the local Penzey’s, where I encountered the lovely, well-informed and very interesting, Kristen.  She recommended their Turkish Seasoning, and I’m so very glad she did…that was the impetus for these lovelies.I had purchase a large package of chicken thighs, eight in total.  So I divided them in half, placing 4 in each of two resealable bags.  I was planning on making Portuguese Thighs with Figs and Port, anyway.  But, I decided to use my new purchase of Turkish Seasoning.  So I added some yogurt, lemon juice and zest, some of the seasoning blend and extra garlic and black pepper.  I sealed the bag and into the fridge for 48 hours.  I hadn’t planned on that long of a marinade, but alas, those thighs were nice and juicy and plump.  I would never marinate chicken that long with an acid like both yogurt and lemon juice, but thighs are fine.  I also prefer to use bone-in and skin-on thighs.

When I was ready to prepare them, I pulled them out of the bag, popped them in a cast iron skillet and roasted them for about 25 minutes…these were pretty good sized.  While they roasted, I made some couscous and stir-fried a combo of veggies.  I used some okra, as I had found nice, small okra at my Indian market.  I had made some Turkish Black Olive-Lemon Yogurt Sauce in the morning, so that was in the fridge, just ready and waiting.  This came together in a bit more than half an hour, making it a very viable mid-week meal.

Marinated Chicken Thighs with Turkish Flavors

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This yogurt marinated chicken recipe is super flavorful, tender, juicy and delicious. The fresh lemon adds a kick of flavor and it’s a versatile recipe you can make for lunch or dinner. Grill it and serve with your favorite side, then use the leftovers for lunch!

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs (about 4-5 thighs)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (I prefer whole fat)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves grated
  • 2-3 teaspoons Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning (see NOTE)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place the chicken thighs (I use bone-in, skin-on, but you could use boneless, skinless—the cooking time will differ) in a resealable bag.  Drop the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, Turkish seasoning and pepper on top of the chicken thighs.  Using your hands, work the thighs around in the bag with the mixture until they are coated.  Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Marinate, in the fridge, for at least 4 hours or overnight (with thighs, you can actually marinate up to 48 hours, but NOT with chicken breasts.  They become “mushy” after too long.)

Place in a cast iron skillet.  Roast, in a preheated 400°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the juices run clear or an internal temp of 165°F.  Remove from the oven; let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Excellent with stir-fried veggies, couscous and Turkish Black Olive-Lemon Yogurt Sauce.

NOTE:  Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning is well worth the trip to the store.  If you wish to make your own version, this is decent option. You may add salt, but I prefer to just salt the meat.  Most Turkish blends would also include some hot pepper, as well.  This is more spice than you will need for this.  Combine:

  • 2 teaspoons each: oregano, sweet (or smoked) paprika, sumac and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried mint leaves.

Please note, if you prefer, these can be grilled for 3 to 4 minutes, then flipped and grilled for 6-8 minutes, flipping several times.  You want an internal temp of 165°F.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Marinated Chicken Thighs with Turkish Flavors Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020.  All rights reserved.