Coriander is a seriously popular herb to cook with here. I’ve really enjoyed the flavor it brings to chicken dishes, especially this spicy, rich chicken served on pita bread. This particular dish was inspired by a recipe from a local magazine. The South African cooking magazines have been chock full of delicious recipes!
This chicken is simple and relatively quick to prepare, and it makes excellent leftovers. I love dinners that make even better lunches over the next few days
For those of you who are eating paleo or with dairy sensitivities, I think replacing the yogurt with coconut cream would be a great variation on this.
This chicken starts out in a simple marinade. Throw some chunks of fresh ginger, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, water, and lemon juice into a food processor.
My chicken of choice was cubed chicken breasts, but you could use whole breasts, thighs, drumsticks… whatever floats your boat. Add the chicken to a bag with the marinade and let it refrigerate for 30 minutes to 12 hours. I did it for about 6 hours and it was great.
No need to rinse the food processor! Use it with all that gingery garlicky goodness to make the sauce. Chop up a green chile. Or two. Or three. Depending on how spicy you like things. I’m using three, which was perfect for us. Just enough heat on the back of the tongue!
Throw ’em into the food processor with olive oil, coriander, and tomato sauce. Despite the popularity of coriander, my grocery store was out of it! So I used coriander cashew pesto instead, which was fantastic. Throw some cashews into the food processor if you like. Blend it up until smooth and set aside.
When the chicken is ready, heat olive oil in a large pan. Add the chicken, marinade and all. I really should have done this in batches to not crowd the pan and better brown the chicken. But I was impatient and lazy. Don’t be like me.
Once the chicken is browned on both sides, add the coriander sauce and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping and stirring occasionally.
Add a little bit of yogurt and give it a good stir. Watch creamy magicness happen.
Let it cook for just a few more minutes, then serve it up! I found mini-pitas at the store that were just too adorable to resist, so we had this chicken with those and some roasted veggies.
Seriously, aren’t they adorable?! I want to get them for little pita pizzas.
This chicken is deliciously herby, tangy, and spicy. Make plenty, because like I said, the leftovers are amazing!
Get the Recipe:
Coriander and Yogurt Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped ginger
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
- 2-3 fresh green chiles, roughly chopped (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- In a food processor, process the ginger, garlic cloves, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and water until smooth. Add to a large plastic bag and add the chicken. Shake the bag to coat. Let refrigerate for 30 minutes to 12 hours.
- In the same food processor, without washing it, add the tomato sauce, coriander, green chiles, and one tablespoon of olive oil. Process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to cook the chicken.
- When ready to cook the chicken, heat a large pan with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and brown on both sides.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the coriander sauce and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the yogurt and cook for another 5 minutes, or until yogurt is well incorporated into the sauce.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the chicken and let simmer for another 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with pita bread or naan. Enjoy!
Hi Chelsea, recipe sounds delicious. Can I replace coriander leaves for powder? If so how much would I use? Thank you
Hi Diane! It will definitely have a different flavor since coriander powder comes from seeds. Coriander leaves would be yummy, too – just different! I would probably do 1/4 cup leaves, chopped.