Grilled Turmeric Chicken Thighs topped with a vibrant lemon-radish salad. This method creates perfectly tender, full-flavored chicken every time!
Why You'll Love this Turmeric Chicken
This dish is loosely inspired by Indian tandoori chicken, which is marinated in yogurt and spices prior to cooking over high heat.
The yogurt both tenderizes the chicken and promotes a beautiful char. The earthy brightness of the turmeric and spice mixture shine through in every bite.
This recipe is also super flexible — marinate the meat for as little as a couple of hours, or as long as overnight.
- Chicken: I suggest chicken thighs, which have more fat and are less prone to overcooking. They come out SUPER juicy and tender after being marinated in the yogurt mixture.
- Turmeric: Used widely throughout Asia and an essential spice in Indian cooking, turmeric is made from the ground root of the turmeric plant (which is related to ginger). Turmeric has a warm and earthy flavor and bright, vibrant hue.
- Yogurt: Look for whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) for the best consistency.
- Radishes: Look for an assortment of radishes for an array of colors. I love using daikon and watermelon radishes for their gorgeous hues.
- Lemon: You need the zest and juice of 1 lemon, which you'll use in both the marinade and radish salad.
- Garlic: Fresh is best here!
- Sweetener: Use honey or brown sugar to help the chicken really caramelize. A little sweetness also helps balance the bitterness of the tahini.
- Herbs: I love using fresh mint, parsley or cilantro.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Make Spicy: Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken is also a very popular, VERY delicious dish. Simply double down on the black pepper to add extra spice.
- Use Chicken Breast: For a leaner option, you can use chicken breast instead of thighs, however be careful to not overcook since they're prone to drying out.
- Make Dairy Free: In place of yogurt, use coconut-based yogurt to make Coconut Turmeric Chicken instead.
Step 1: Prepare Marinade by combining yogurt, spices, garlic, honey, and lemon zest in a bowl; stir to combine. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Step 2: Prepare Radish Salad by combining radishes, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Step 3: Grill Chicken by heating a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high. Once hot, arrange chicken and grill/sear chicken for 5 to 7 minutes per side, until char marks appear.
Step 4: Assemble dish by arranging chicken on a platter and topping with radish salad.
Turmeric has an earthy flavor that is both bright and beautifully bitter. It really awakens the flavor of any dish it's used it.
Yogurt helps tenderize the meat, which creates a juicy, almost pull-apart texture once it's cooked.
The longer it marinates, the more flavorful it will become, however do not marinate longer than 24 hours or else the meat may turn mushy. I suggest anywhere from 2 hours to overnight.
Store: Refrigerate the chicken separately from the radish salad for best results. The chicken will last up to 3 days.
Reheat: Skip the microwave and rewarm the chicken either in the oven or a skillet.
To reheat in a skillet, add a little bit of water or broth to a medium skillet, add the chicken, and heat over medium until warm. Alternatively, heat in a 350ºF oven until warm.
I love serving these turmeric chicken thighs over white rice, such as Basmati or Jasmine. It's also delicious with these sides:
More Healthy Chicken Recipes:
Turmeric Chicken with Lemon Radish Salad
- Mixing bowls
- Grill, grill pan, or cast-iron skillet
- ⅔ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1.25 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
- About 6 to 8 radishes, thinly sliced on a mandoline
- ⅓ cup mint, parsley, or cilantro, torn (I prefer the rustic look of torn herbs over chopped for this dish)
- Olive or avocado oil for cooking
- In a large bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, honey, turmeric, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and lemon zest (reserve lemon juice for radish salad); mix to combine. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
- About 30 minute before grilling the chicken, prepare radish salad by combining radishes, herbs, and lemon juice in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt.
- If using a grill, clean and oil the grates. Set the grill to medium-high or heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet coated with olive oil on the stovetop over medium-high.Grill the chicken for 6 to 7 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the thighs), covering the grill halfway through if necessary to retain heat, until cooked through.
- Transfer chicken to a serving platter and spoon radish salad overtop.