Spiced chicken breast with garlic and mint yoghurt

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's spiced chicken breast with garlic and mint yoghurt.
Neil Perry's spiced chicken breast with garlic and mint yoghurt. Photo: William Meppem

Just add flat bread and tabouli for a Middle Eastern feast. For added texture and flavour, I sometimes add a cucumber to the yoghurt - shred it, salt for an hour, wash clean then squeeze all the moisture out by wrapping in a clean tea towel.

Ingredients

180ml extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp finely chopped oregano leaves

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

large pinch ground turmeric

pinch of chilli flakes

zest of 1 lemon, finely grated (no pith)

4 x 200g chicken breast, butterflied

5 cloves garlic, peeled

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

flat bread and tabouli to serve

Garlic and mint yoghurt

5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half

3 tbsp fresh mint leaves

400g Greek yoghurt

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a bowl, combine half of the olive oil with the oregano, spices, chilli flakes and lemon zest.

Add the pieces of chicken breast, making sure they are all evenly coated in spice mix. Marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.

For garlic and mint yoghurt, blanch the garlic cloves in a pot of simmering water until soft. Drain.

With a stick blender, blend the garlic cloves with the mint and 100g of the yoghurt until it makes a smooth paste. Fold through the remaining yoghurt and season to taste.

To cook the chicken, heat a large non-stick pan on a low to medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and the garlic cloves. Once the garlic has softened and turned a light golden, remove from pan and discard.

Turn the heat to high and add the marinated chicken breast, seasoning both sides with salt and pepper, and sear until golden on both sides.

Place on to a lined baking tray, and cook in the oven for a further 4-6 minutes until cooked through. Set aside and allow to rest.

Plate the chicken with a good dollop of the garlic and mint yoghurt.

Serve with a large spoonful of tabouli and flat bread.

Tip: Shred leftover chicken and use in a wrap with some of the garlic and mint yoghurt and tabouli. Or you can replace the chicken with marinated lamb or thin slices of beef.

Something to drink: pinot noir. Biodynamic wine is all about flavour and terroir. The 2009 Seresin Leah Pinot Noir ($40) from Marlborough, New Zealand, has black and red fruit and fine tannins that blend well with the flavours of the spiced chicken.