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Ginger-Chili Chicken with Lebanese Cucumber Yogurt

1 March 2011


Even though it’s the middle of winter – albeit an unseasonably warm one here in Scotland – I suddenly had a hankering for something with some bright flavors and a little heat.

This chicken recipe from Homestyle Barbecue – a brilliant and ridiculously inexpensive cookbook from Barnes & Noble –  fit the bill perfectly. The slightly sweet pungency of the ginger is perfectly complimented by the spiciness of the chili powder, and the cucumber yogurt serves as a light and refreshing dip to round out the flavors.

This recipe calls for Lebanese cucumber – the smaller, smoother, and nearly seedless cousin of the American cucumber. It may be difficult to find in American supermarkets, but can easily be substituted by the  ‘English cucumber’, a variety more readily available internationally.



Serves: 6

12 fresh chicken drumsticks

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp golden brown sugar

1 tsp crushed red chili flakes

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Lemon wedges, to serve


Lebanese Cucumber Yogurt

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes

1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled, seeded + grated

1/2 tsp white sugar



1.  Using a sharp knife, score the meat on the thickest part of the drumsticks. Set aside.

2.  In a medium-sized non-metallic mixing bowl, combine yogurt, ginger, brown sugar, chili flakes, turmeric, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add chicken, stirring well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the cucumber-yogurt ingredients. Add salt to taste, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4.  Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Cook the drumsticks on a hot, lightly oiled barbecue grill plate or flat plate for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender and juices run clear. Brush occasionally with reserved marinade during grilling process. Serve immediately with chilled cucumber yogurt and fresh lemon wedges.


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