Grilled Lemon and Garlic Yoghurt Chicken

    3 hours 50 minutes

    Chef John's tangy lemon and garlic yoghurt marinated chicken is grilled to caramelised perfection and served with a flavourful and spicy harissa yoghgurt sauce.

    40 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
    • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
    • 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yoghurt
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2kg whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
    • 1 teaspoon harissa
    • 1 pinch salt

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Extra time:3hours marinating  ›  Ready in:3hours50min 

    1. Whisk together the lemon rind, olive oil, garlic, paprika, mixed herbs, half the yoghurt, half the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a bowl. Pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
    2. Preheat barbecue on medium-high heat and lightly oil the grill plate.
    3. Combine harissa with remaining yoghurt and juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
    4. Remove chicken from bag and transfer to a plate or baking tray lined with paper towels. Pat chicken pieces dry with more paper towels. Season with pinch of salt.
    5. Grill chicken, skin-side down, on the preheated grill for 2 minutes. Turn each piece and move to indirect heat.
    6. Grill, turning often, with lid down until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 74 degrees C.
    7. Serve chicken with the yogurt harissa mixture on the side.

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    Reviews in English (153)


    Wallaceclan - harissa is a North African chili paste. If you don't have it, you could make a paste with 1 t. sriracha or chili garlic sauce, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1/2 t ground cumin , 1/2 t. ground coriander and 1/2 t. salt. This makes a very moist and flavorful chicken. I marinated for about 6 hours and it was perfect.  -  24 Jun 2012  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Thank you Chef John. I followed your recipe exactly, except that I used chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken (not a fan of bones), and my husband said that this was the best chicken ever. We eat a lot of different chicken breast recipes, so that says a lot.  -  03 May 2012  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Such a nice change from other grilled chicken and so healthy. You can do this marinade with any type of chicken (ie: boneless, skinless breasts or thighs). I didn't even marinate it for more than 1 1/2 hours and it was still delicious! The yogurt harissa (hot sauce) mixture is great with the chicken. I served this chicken with coleslaw.  -  07 May 2012  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)