Yogurt will tenderize without making food either mushy or hard. The marinade on this Yogurt and Spice Marinated Chicken also will work nicely on pork or fish. - AP

Yogurt and Spice Marinated Chicken

Yogurt can be so much more than what's for breakfast.

As the base for a marinade, it does wonders for a piece of chicken, fish or meat. And because plain, nonfat yogurt is only mildly acidic, it is especially well suited for marinating delicate foods.

Yogurt marinades have tenderizing qualities but won't toughen food the way vinegar or wine would, or turn it mushy the way enzymatic ingredients can.

Yogurt and spice marinated chicken with grapefruit relish benefits from this type of soak. The tangy, pungent marinade adds intense flavor to otherwise bland chicken breasts, while leaving them moist and tender.

This yogurt-spice blend works for fish and pork as well, but if you're preparing a delicate fish such as catfish, flounder or tilapia, don't marinate for more than an hour or two. Firmer fish, such as tuna or salmon, can handle up to an 8-hour soak.

The relish for this dish uses jarred grapefruit segments, which often are less expensive and always easier to prepare than whole fruit. Look for jarred citrus in the refrigerated cases in the produce section of the market.

This recipe calls for broiling, but the chicken also can be grilled for about 6 to 7 minutes, turning it midway.

Start to finish: 40 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 4


1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

3 tablespoons lime juice, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 pound thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets

2 cups jarred grapefruit sections, drained

1 small red onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped,

Ground black pepper, to taste


In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the chicken cutlets, turning to coat them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the grapefruit sections, onion, cilantro, honey, jalapeno, black pepper, the remaining tablespoon of lime juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

Heat the broiler. Arrange the chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Place on the top rack of the oven and cook until the chicken is browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with grapefruit relish.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 242 calories; 40 calories from fat; 4 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 66 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 2 g fiber; 681 mg sodium.

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