It's always nice to have a variety of easy chicken recipes on hand for those busy weeknights. This recipe is big on flavor and low effort, especially if you use a boxed saffron rice (I prefer to make it from scratch, but when time and energy are concerned a box is just fine). The bold flavors and bright color of this dish are pleasing to both palate and eyes, and it's a dish everyone in the house will love. If you have the ingredients, mix the chicken with the yogurt marinade in the morning (or even the night before) and let it do its thing in the fridge while you're at work. Otherwise, when you get home take 2 minutes to pop it all in a zippered bag and let it marinate for an hour before baking.
Yogurt Marinated Chicken Recipe with Saffron Rice and Tzatziki
For the chicken:
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (about 3/4 teaspoons each)
1 box Saffron Rice (such as Casbah Saffroned Jasmine Rice)
1 container Tzatziki (such as Trader Joe's Creamy Garlic Cucumber Dip)
1 small handful each fresh flat-leaf parsely and cilantro, finely chopped
Place chicken thighs, yogurt, spices, olice oil, and lemon juice in a gallon size ziplock bag. Seal and massage bag to thoroughly incorporate the spices. Refrigerator overnight or for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove chicken from bag and place in a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the saffron rice according to package instructions. If making from scratch, see ingredients and directions below.
When chicken is finished cooking, remove from oven and set aside. Spoon cooked rice over a serving platter, place chicken thighs on top and garnish with freshly chopped parsely and cilantro. Serve with tzatziki (recipe below) and lemon wedges on the side.
To make Saffron Rice from scratch:
1-2 pinches of saffron threads
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups white basmati rice
3 1/2 cups water
About 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Add saffron threads to a small bowl and pour in 1/4 cup boiling water. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Rinse basmati rice in a strainer until the water runs clear.
In a medium pot, bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add olive oil, salt, and saffron liquid. Stir. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is tender. Fluff before serving.
To make Tzatziki from scratch:
1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced (or more if you love garlic!)
Salt to taste
Mix ingredients in a bowl and let sit at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.