Smoky Chicken Skewers with Stone Fruit Chutney
Lean chicken breast is marinated in a spiced yogurt overnight, then grilled for a smoky flavor, and served with a quick stone fruit chutney.
Have you ever marinated your chicken in yogurt? If you’ve never done it before, I can imagine your reaction might be something like, ‘Um, no. That’s weird. Yogurt belongs in my breakfast bowl with fresh berries and maple granola. Not as a bath for chicken.’
But how about marinating chicken in buttermilk? That’s not weird, right? Many good fried chicken recipes start with marinating chicken in buttermilk, and marinating chicken in yogurt is the same kind of idea. Buttermilk and yogurt are both tangy and acidic, and they both act similarly. They tenderize chicken, make it taste richer, and add a really nice flavor.
You can put all sorts of flavors into the yogurt too. I always keep tubs of plain Greek yogurt in my fridge for that very reason, regardless of whether I’m making something sweet or savory with it. For this recipe I flavor the yogurt with smoky spicy flavors, like tomato paste, cumin, and chipotles in adobo. Chipotles in adobo are just smoked jalapenos in a rich, thick tomato based sauce. You can find it in most grocery stores in the ethnic aisles.
After the chicken gets a good tenderizing from the flavored yogurt, you can just cook it as usual. Here I cut the chicken breast into cubes, thread them onto skewers, and grill them on both sides.
Since the chicken is very savory, I like to pair it with something fruity and bright for contrast. Stone fruits are my favorite because they hold up really well to a brief 10 minute cooking in a skillet with some spices.
Chicken Skewers with Stone Fruit Chutney
For the chicken:
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp of the sauce from a can of chipotle in adobo*
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
For the chutney:
- 2 cups chopped stone fruit (peaches plums etc)
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- In a big bowl, whisk to combine the yogurt, tomato paste, chipotle sauce, cumin, coriander, salt, lime juice, and fresh ginger. Cut the chicken breasts into one inch cubes and toss them in the yogurt mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate overnight (8 hours), and for up to 24 hours.Make sure not to skip this step, as the yogurt will tenderize the chicken and give it a nice flavor.
- Thread the chicken onto metal (or soaked bamboo) skewers, and heat the grill to high. Grill the chicken skewers for about 3 minutes on each side.
- For the chutney, place all the chutney ingredients in a saute pan set over medium high heat, and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. The fruit will soften slightly and the juice will reduce down and thicken. Serve as a condiment alongside the smoky yogurt marinated chicken. Enjoy!