A great way to add flavour to meat is to marinade it first – an hour is good, 3 hours better, & you can leave it longer if you like – just do it the night before or in the morning before you go to work. Key to a marinade is something to help break down & tenderise the meat & something to add flavour. Yogurt is a common marinade base for Eastern Mediterranean food, as it does a great job of penetrating the meat & carrying flavour into it.
This simple marinade for chicken can be whipped up in a couple of minutes, making it a doddle to prepare, with the Urfa chilli flakes adding a fruity flavour.
1 small (1.5k) chicken, spatchcocked & skin removed. Alternatively, use skinless chicken thighs, drumsticks or breasts – just reduce cooking time slightly.
For the marinade:
½ tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp hot paprika
½ tsp urfa chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 medium garlic cloves, crushed
200ml full fat natural yogurt
Combine all marinade ingredients & mix well. Make slashes in the chicken flesh, & place in a bowl. add the marinade & work into the chicken for a few minutes. Cover & refrigerate for 3 hours or longer – if marinating overnight, take the chicken out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to allow to return to room temperature.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220 °C / 200 °C fan / gas mark 7. Take the chicken & scrape off most of the marinade. Place the chicken on a baking tray, & cook for 35-40 minutes. Take out of the oven & allow to rest for 5 minutes before eating.