No stranger to skewers of chicken, beef, lamb or pork served with a pilaf and salad, I experimented a bit last night with the ratio of olive oil to yogurt, and the herb and spice components taken from several favorite Mideast preparations.
The result was by far the best rendition of chicken kebabs I can recall. Deeply flavorful and moist, seasoned to perfection with a slight tang of lemon – although I did serve with a bit of tahini sauce on the side, left from our kefta kebabs last week. Two pounds of boneless chicken thighs were ample to serve four, but there were just two of us, so…leftovers!
TURKISH CHICKEN KEBABS
2 lbs boneless air-chilled chicken thighs cut into 1-1-1/2 inch pieces (each thigh should yield 3-4 chunks)
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper and one medium sweet onion cut into chunks
1/4 cup EVOO; 1/4 cup plain yogurt (preferably goat-milk); 1 T dried oregano; 1 T dried mint; 1 t ground cumin; 1 t allspice; 1 t coriander; 3 medium garlic cloves crushed in a press or finely minced; 1 lemon quartered and then cut crosswise into small chunks; 2 t kosher salt; 1 t ground black pepper
Combine the marinade ingredients in a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken pieces, toss to coat completely, and let marinate refrigerated for at least 2 hours, longer if possible. When time to grill, heat grill to very hot and thread bamboo skewers with the chicken alternating with the cut peppers and onions. You may want to fold over some of the chicken chunks to keep them more firmly on the skewer, as the pieces of boneless thigh tend to be somewhat flat. Grill about 10 minutes, turning once or twice.
We enjoyed this with a simple basmati pilaf laced with minced carrots, shallots, and complementary seasonings, and a small Greek salad.