Marinating chicken is a simple way to tenderize the bird and infuse the meat with a burst of flavor. Using curry in your marinade adds a bit of heat and Indian flair to the chicken. In as much time as it takes to whisk your ingredients together, you'll have a rich marinade that will do all the work of flavoring and seasoning your chicken. The beauty of a curry marinade is that you can include whatever spices and herbs you wish, as long as you include basic curry powder, too, according to Pat Chapman, author of "Curry Magic."
Remove the skin from each piece of chicken, if necessary. Taking the skin off the chicken is common in Indian cooking, but it also significantly reduces the fat and calorie content of your curry meal.
Place the chicken pieces in a shallow dish or a large zip-top plastic storage bag. Set the chicken aside.
Scoop plain yogurt into a bowl and whisk in a generous drizzle of cooking oil such as olive oil, which is a heart-healthy choice rich in unsaturated fats. Opt for low-fat plain yogurt to cut the fat content of the marinade. The finished product should be thick, but liquid enough to pour.
Whisk in curry powder to taste, and any other dried herbs and spices you enjoy. Cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, garlic and celery seed are examples of seasonings that will pair well with the curry powder.
Add additional ingredients according to your tastes. For a bolder flavor, whisk in garlic paste or ginger paste. For a more mild flavor, add diced onions and peppers to the marinade. Bell peppers will add a slightly sweet flavor while spicy peppers will add a bit of heat to the marinade. Fresh ginger root, parsley and chili powder are additional ingredients that will enhance the flavor of the marinade.
Pour the marinade over the chicken and let the meat marinate for several hours or overnight before cooking it.