This is the juicy yogurt lemon chicken ever. Thank you for the 14+million views on my other Bulgarian yogurt chicken recipe, I am blown away by the response. Truth is, yogurt is not really a secret for us in Bulgaria, places like India, and many other parts of the world. Although many cultures use yogurt, sour cream, mayo, buttermilk, to tenderize meat, it is definitely a new concept to people that have never seen meat marinated this way before. In Bulgaria we are known for cooking or baking with yogurt. Plain yogurt makes for the perfect marinade and also makes so many of our baked goods so incredibly delicious, fluffy, and moist. In Bulgaria, yogurt is everywhere. You’ll find it on falafel wraps, slathered on moussaka and lined up in supermarket refrigerators. It is in traditional Bulgarian dishes such as tarator, a cold soup made of yogurt, water, cucumber, and dill; and snezhanka, a salad consisting of yoghurt, cucumbers, garlic and dill. We sip yogurt drinks in the streets and we dip fried zucchini slices into yogurt dips too. We love yogurt with sweet bread, in soups and stews and so many other recipes as well. If you haven’t ever marinated chicken with yogurt, this might be your new favourite way.
Juicy Yogurt Lemon Chicken
- 8 bone in skin on, chicken thighs — or any cut of chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup plain yogurt — I use Balkan-Style but any works
- 2 pinches of salt
- pepper to taste
- 1-1.5 tablespoons dry oregano — or to taste
- juice of 2 lemons — leave the squeezed out lemons in the dish too
- 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
- Add the chicken to a bowl ( or your baking dish ) add the rest of the ingredients and massage it really well with clean hands. Let it sit and marinate in the fridge for at least one hour to overnight. If you don't let it marinate for one hour it will still be delicious but not as tender.
- Take it out of the fridge and transfer it to a oven safe baking dish if you used a bowl. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Bake it uncovered for 45 minutes to one hour depending on how big/small the thighs are.
- If you want to crisp up the skin you can put it on broil for the last few minutes but keep a close eye on it.
- Enjoy on salad, mashed potatoes, on wraps, with rice, or with any side you like.
Deeeeeelicious! Only marinated for an hour and still had great flavor. Next time will prep in the morning to pop in the oven when I get home. I’ll be adding more garlic simply because it was so yummy to have it to smear on the chicken afterward and I can see me wanting enough for every bite!
Thank you for sharing that with me Mary. Means a lot ❤️
I accidentally purchased skinless chicken thighs! Will it still work?
Absolutely yes and so yum
My family loved these chicken thighs. Excellent flavor and they loved the crispy skin from cooking in the air fryer. Quick recipe with ingredients I always have on hand.
So happy Steph! Thanks for leaving a comment. Really appreciate it
I have whole chickens, can I cut them down and use the pieces of the whole chicken instead of just thighs?
Oh absolutely!! Will be perfect
Love this recipe and make it almost weekly using chicken hind legs! Question: if I make this marinade, how long can you marinate the chicken in it? Can it marinate for several days or be put in the freezer then thawed when ready to bake?
So you don’t want to leave this marinade for longer than overnight because lemon can actually start to break down the chicken which will in return and make it rubbery, if you leave out the lemon in a marinade such as this one you can definitely leave it in the fridge for up to two days or freeze it ❤️