Spicy Yogurt Chicken

Spicy Yogurt Chicken

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 1996

Plain yogurt is a magical ingredient in a marinade. It tenderizes chicken while keeping it moist and succulent. Add a little sweetener, something tart and warm spices—and you have a dynamite dish.

Ingredients 4 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 pinches saffron threads, ( ½ teaspoon)
  • ½ cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons harissa, or 2 teaspoons hot sauce or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Place hot water in a small bowl and crumble saffron threads over it. Steep for 5 minutes. Combine yogurt, onion, garlic, harissa (or hot sauce or cayenne), lemon juice, honey, oil, salt, cumin and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Stir in the saffron water. Add drumsticks and coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set an oiled rack on top. Place the drumsticks on the rack and bake until the chicken is golden brown on the outside and no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 391 calories; 15 g fat(3 g sat); 1 g fiber; 12 g carbohydrates; 49 g protein; 19 mcg folate; 253 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 46 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 97 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 655 mg sodium; 638 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 3 lean meat, ½ fat

Reviews 5

July 08, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Flavorful, easy, and healthy This was a total success, both flavorful and easy. My husband loved it, and he is not easy to please. I used boneless and skinless breasts, and the result was fabulous. Not only did I marinate for a little over three hours, but I spooned mixture over the breasts every now and then. Pros: E
December 11, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Plenty of Flavor & Delish Twist on Baked Chicken I was a little skeptical to try this recipe after the first 2 reviews, but the third review was positive so I gave this a try. The market I shop at only carries local meats from local farms, so they only had chicken wings that day. I used them instead and doubled the marinade (kept the yogurt at double, but did a little under triple for the spices. Saffron is really strong so I left that a little under double) to make sure the chicken was packed with flavor. I looked up chix wings cooking times and found various ways to bake them. I decided to do 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then 350 degrees for 30 minutes. These wings came out flavorful, juicy and a recipe keeper for my family! Pros: simple, make ahead, flavorful
July 22, 2012
profile image
By: laurenlila
Great recipe I am surprised to read the other reviews, because we really enjoyed this recipe. I went a little strong on the chili powder and garlic, and we ate it with some couscous mixed with olive oil, pine nuts and raisons. The chicken took about 40 minutes to cook in our oven, instead of 30. But the flavor was good and the chicken, very tender! Would definitely make it again.
March 04, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Wouldn't make again. Bland. Unfortunately, this dish didn't go over well in my house. I didn't think the flavors were very strong, and what flavor you did taste didn't meld well together. Pros: Healthy? Cons: Lacks flavor, flavors don't go well together.
February 13, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
This was just okay. I used chicken thighs, so I don't know if that made a difference or not. I am not saying it tasted bad, it is just not anything that I would keep in my regular rotation.
More Reviews