Chicken Roasted with Spiced Yogurt Recipe

Blake Royer

It was kind of a revelation when I discovered the magical marinating powers of yogurt. When it comes to quick dinners, it's good for your arsenal—yogurt-based dishes tend to work their magic especially quickly, rendering meat flavorful and succulent and infusing it with the accompanying flavors and spices.

Most dishes like it I've tried have been Indian curries, but this recipe, from Eating the Greek Way, relies on an intriguing blend of garlic, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne. The cinnamon is the surprising element, and it works. The result is some highly flavorful, crisp-skinned chicken.

Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 4 chicken legs (4 thighs and 4 drumsticks)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat, and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

  3. In a large, heavy, oven-proof skillet, heat butter over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook on all sides until golden brown, doing so in batches if necessary to maintain good browning, 5-8 minutes per batch.

  4. Add all chicken pieces back into the skillet and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.