I have to be honest. I’m not a big fan of chicken… I know, I know…. I’m a dietitian for goodness sake! But this recipe for chicken thighs in lemony Greek yogurt sauce has made me a believer. I’m hooked, and have been making this recipe at least once a week for the past few months. This chicken goes with everything!
Sometimes I feel like dietitian nutritionists have the “eat more chicken” message tattooed across their foreheads. (My past-self included). The “eat chicken because it’s a lean protein” is promoted by many health organizations. As a dietitian, I have been telling my patients to eat chicken instead of beef (or any other meat) for years, with many patients often complaining that they’re tired of chicken (or that they’re ranchers and raise their own cows and will keep eating beef, thank you. I mean, this is Idaho…). Chicken is one of the best sources of lean protein (but you don’t have to eat chicken always and forever). It does seem that chicken is pushed as “the one and only” protein for health….
It’s not that I have anything against chicken, I just get bored of it…. and sometimes find it dry, bland, boring….. It doesn’t keep my attention very well. I rarely ever order chicken at a restaurant. I usually go for steak at restaurants. But these chicken thighs…. let me tell you, I’d eat these almost every night. I started buying organic, boneless, skinless chicken thighs about a year ago. Up until that time, I’d never bought chicken thighs, always breasts or tenders because I was worried about the fat. I had always thought of chicken thighs as fatty, dark meat with too many calories. And fat = bad, right??? Well, let’s just say my dietitian mind has been flipped upside down.
With so much research coming to light about sugar and processed carbs actually being the bigger (biggest) culprits of many of the chronic health conditions of our country, I don’t worry about fat anymore. Gasp! Total paradigm shift, let me tell you! Eventually I will get around to writing a post on why I eat fat and how my mind was changed. It was a process that took a few years. But if you want some resources now, I recommend checking out: Sugar Science, this article from Authority Nutrition, the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, the Low Carb Dietitian, and The Weston A. Price Foundation. I now pay much more attention to carbs and sugar.
So, with making the intentional change to include more fat in my diet, I switched to chicken thighs, and it was a game changer. I find chicken thighs to have much more flavor than chicken breasts and are much more satisfying to eat. And this lemony Greek yogurt sauce elevates the chicken to the next level! Soooo tangy and delicious! And easy, just a quick marinade of the chicken thighs in full-fat Greek yogurt with lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you like some spice. Sometimes I add parmesan, and occasionally onions and spinach to sneak in extra veggies. Anyway you make it, guarantee it’s going to be a hit!
Serve the chicken with any vegetable of choice. I’ve been doing a charred kale caesar salad lately (recipe coming soon!) and the combination with the chicken is to die for!!! Kris and I both love it!
- 1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder or 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ - ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan (optional)
- 1 cup fresh spinach (optional)
- Olive oil
- In a medium bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and parmesan.
- Add raw chicken thighs to yogurt mix and mix until chicken is covered. Allow chicken to marinate in yogurt for at least 10 minutes (you can marinate chicken overnight if desired).
- Heat a olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add chicken breast and any remaining yogurt sauce to skillet.
- Cook for approximately 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through or internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Recommend serving with charred kale caesar salad (recipe coming soon!).