How to Marinate with Yogurt

I get it! It sounds odd to marinate meat in yogurt. Trust me, once you’ve tried it, you will never want to go back to not doing it.

The Science

Yogurt has lactic acid. Lactic acid breaks down the proteins within the meat. = Tender

As the meat becomes more acidic, it is able to absorb moisture. = Flavor

The Type of Yogurt

Typically,plain dense yogurt works well for a marinade. I personally have used liquidly low fat yogurt and higher end plain greek yogurt. Overall,there wasn’t a significant difference in how tender the meat was. However, we did marinate the meat longer in the low fat yogurt than we did with the greek yogurt.

The rule to follow is: the thicker, the better.

Season Season Season

In most cases you are able to dump the meat and the marinade into the dish. When using yogurt, you only need enough to cover the meat.

Additionally, the spices and seasoning that are put into the marinade will really absorb into the meat. Season accordingly. Keep it simple.

When we make our Butter Chicken, we marinate our chicken in yogurt with half of the spices and seasoning needed for the curry. Not only is the chicken full of flavor, the curry has a flavor boost from the yogurt marinade.

If you are looking to try something new that is simple, below is a our basic yogurt marinade we used for our gumbo:

The ingredients:
About a 1/4 cup of yogurt
8 chicken legs
A liberal amount of salt and pepper

The chicken marinated for an hour or two. We simply shook off the excess yogurt before browning the chicken.

Talk about tender and delicious.

Get out there and try something new!

Until next time. 🙂


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