When I first set out to cook this chicken dish, I knew it was either going to be an absolute failure or an empowering success. The inspiration for this Yoghurt Chilli Chicken is loosely based on a dish I tried many years ago at Kampa Park, in Prague.
The chicken was marinated for a couple of hours, with ingredients I would never usually contemplate using as a marinade: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chilli, Arrowroot, and Natural Greek Yoghurt, and then baked in the marinade.
During the cooking process, the yoghurt split and looked as if it was curdling – at this point, I was ready to concede and I berated myself for not listening harder in chemistry class.
However, intuition soon rivalled chemistry … I took the chicken out at the 30-minute mark to turn over, and noticed the water content of the yoghurt had evaporated, producing a lovely thick curd.
The first bite of the chicken left me in absolute awe. I couldn’t believe how moist the chicken was, and the yoghurt and oil-emulsified curd added an element of dreaminess to the chicken. I couldn’t believe what a success my marinade was. Hail to home experimentation.
Yoghurt Chilli Chicken with a Vanilla Infused Sauce was inspired by a dish from Kampa Park in Prague.
For the Marinade 150ml Natural Greek Yoghurt
100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ Teaspoon Chilli
1 Teaspoon Arrowroot
For the Sauce 1 Vanilla Bean
250ml Vegetable Stock
½ Teaspoon Arrowroot
Black Pepper to taste
To Garnish, blanch some snow peas and julienne carrots, and warm through with rice malt syrup.
Combine the marinade ingredients together ensuring the oil and yoghurt are thoroughly mixed.
Place the chicken breast into a baking dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate for 2 hours.
Combine the yoghurt, chilli, arrowroot and olive oil and marinade the chicken breast for a couple of hours before baking in the oven.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and place the chicken in the oven to bake for 60 minutes. The chicken will cook in the marinade.
While the chicken is cooking, make the vanilla-infused sauce by combining the vanilla bean, arrowroot, vegetable stock, and black pepper into a small saucepan. Bring sauce to a boil then reduce to a simmer until sauce thickens.
Combine the vanilla bean, arrowroot, vegetable stock and black pepper into a small saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until sauce thickens.
Blanch the snow peas and julienne carrots. Re-heat vegetables in a small pan, with a teaspoon of rice malt syrup and black pepper.
Serve the Yoghurt Chilli Chicken with the Vanilla infused Sauce and blanched vegetables.
Serve the Yoghurt Chilli Chicken with Vanilla infused Sauce and blanched snow peas and carrots.