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Preserved Lemon and Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Preserved lemon chicken is marinated with tangy yogurt creating a vibrant and full flavored recipe. Wrap chicken in lettuce leaves or skewer for kabobs.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Longer Marinade Option8 hrs
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: preserved lemon and yogurt marinade, preserved lemon and yogurt marinated chicken, preserved lemon chicken recipe, preserved lemon chicken thighs, yogurt marinated chicken recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 454kcal
Author: Samantha Ferraro
Cost: $18


  • food processor


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large preserved lemon flesh and seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint stems removed
  • 1 tsp olive oil for drizzling in pan

Other Toppings to Serve

  • Crisp butter lettuce leaves
  • Olives
  • Fried halloumi cheese or feta
  • Chopped salad
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Lemon wedges


  • Pat dry chicken with paper towels and blase in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag.
  • To a food processor or blender, add the yogurt, chopped garlic, preserved lemons, olive oil, spices and mint leaves and blend until well combined and no large chunks of lemon or herbs are left over.
  • Add marinade to chicken, making sure all of the meat is coated well and marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to 8 hours in the fridge.
  • Once you're ready cook, heat a skillet or grill pan over medium heat and drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil in the pan. Remove chicken from marinade, allowing any excess to drip off and cook chicken on first side until browned, for about 4-5 minutes. Don't move the chicken while it cooks so it can develop good color.
  • Then flip the chicken and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes and until there is nice charred color.
  • When done, remove from pan and let rest for a few minutes. Slice chicken on a diagonal and serve with lettuce leaves and other toppings.

To Fry Halloumi Cheese

  • If you haven't fried halloumi before, it's quite easy. Slice halloumi into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and place on medium high heat. Add cheese slices and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown. Remove from skillet and serve with other toppings.


This recipe works great with different cooking method. If roasting, place on a baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for about 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
If you have the time, marinate the chicken for at least 20 minutes. A few hours is best.
You can find preserved lemons online or at Mediterranean/International stores.
If you can't find preserved lemons, substitute with the zest and juice of 1 whole lemon and 3/4 teaspoon of salt.


Serving: 4g | Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 994mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1265IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2.7mg