Yogurt- and Mint-Marinated Chicken Thighs With Pickled Nectarines Recipe

[Photographs: Nik Sharma]

I often use this yogurt marinade at home, and it works equally well with boneless, skinless chicken breasts as it does with the boneless, skinless chicken thighs I call for here. Made from just a few ingredients, it’s quite aromatic and very flavorful, and offers a plethora of sensations, from the cool notes of mint to the warmer flavors provided by the garlic, ginger, chile pepper, and black peppercorns.

Part of why I like this preparation is its color and aroma, and I’ve found that the gentle cooking called for in this recipe helps to preserve the vibrant green of the marinade. While a little browning occurs on the edges of the pieces of chicken, browning and/or charring is not the goal. If you’d like to have your chicken browned a bit more, you can remove the chicken earlier than is called for and then slide the pieces under the broiler to finish cooking while developing a pronounced char, but I find this unnecessary.

You can take advantage of the gentle tenderizing effect of lactic acid in this marinade to plan ahead of time during a busy week. Combine the chicken with the marinade, divide it up into smaller portions in smaller ziptop bags or airtight, freezer-safe containers, and freeze the portions for up to 2 weeks. When ready to use, pull a bag out of the freezer, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then proceed with the recipe as written.

I like to serve the chicken with quick-pickled nectarines, which take just a few minutes to prepare, although they’re best if you allow them to sit in the spiced honey-and-vinegar mixture for about an hour before serving. Use ripe but firm nectarines; if the fruit is too soft, the combined action of the acid, honey, and salt will make the fruit fall apart quickly. (You can also use other fresh stone fruit, such as peaches or plums. For a stronger kick of heat, double the amount of chile pepper in the recipe.

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Chicken · Fruits

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