Chicken Tikka with Cucumber and Garlic Yogurt

The summer is well and truly in full swing now and we are all looking to eat outside whenever possible. For this month’s recipe, I wanted to create an amazing recipe that is packed full of flavour, easy to make and has that little bit of wow-factor.

Now I don’t have to tell you that us Brits have a love affair with curry but it’s a little warm for a bowl full of hot curry, so this recipe is the perfect summer nod to a classic.

In the recipe I tell you to soak some crusty bread and add it to the skewer, which might seem a little strange, but I am telling you it is a culinary revelation to me, and it will be to you too. It makes this dish just that bit more special as soaking the bread means it will not cook too quickly on the grill and it absorbs all the flavour and juices of the chicken and lemon. Instead, the bread will be crisp on the outside and creamy in the middle. It’s amazing.

 

Chicken Tikka with Cucumber and Garlic Yogurt

Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

2 small baked baguettes

1 bulb of garlic

2 tbsp of olive oil

100ml of beer

Salt & pepper

8-12 skinless and boneless chicken thighs

2-3 tbsp of tikka spice mix

2 tbsp of olive oil

3 lemons cut in half

1 handful of bay leaves from the garden

 

For the Yogurt Dip

300g of thick Greek yogurt

1/2 a cucumber

2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped

1/2 lemon

1 handful of chopped fresh mint

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

 

Here’s how

  1. Cut the bread up into slices of approximately 2-3 cm thick and place on a tray.
  2. Split a bulb of garlic across ways and add to the bread slices. Drizzle the baguette with some olive oil and add the beer to moisten the bread, this will stop it cooking too quickly on the grill.
  3. Place the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil, followed by the Tikka spice mix. Mix the chicken around to ensure it is fully coated with the spices and leave to one side for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  4. Place the lemon, bread, chicken, bay leaf and bread again in this order onto some metal skewers. When the skewers are full, place them on a hot grill or BBQ for 5 minutes on each side before moving to a cooler part of the BBQ or into the oven ay 170c for 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

While the chicken is cooking make the yogurt dressing:

  1. Cut the cucumber in half. long ways. and using a teaspoon scrape out all the seeds. as this area is full of water and will dilute the flavour.
  2. Dice the cucumber up finely and add to a mixing bowl with the crushed garlic and yogurt.
  3. Add the freshly chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice and a seasoning on salt and pepper. Mix the dressing together and set to one side while the chicken finishes cooking.

I like to finish this dish by placing the chicken on top of the yogurt dressing and scattering with some finely chopped spring onions and almonds for a nice crunch.

This recipe will also work well with monkfish or lamb if you fancy something different.

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