Friday, July 18, 2014

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs

Summertime is for grilling.

I was surfing the net one day (Do they even still use that term? "Surf the net?") and an article came up with this recipe from Once Upon a Chef. I'm always up for trying a great new recipe and I love, love, love kebabs. So I decided to dust off the cobwebs off my grill and give this recipe a try. And boy were these kebabs delicious. It tastes exactly like the kebabs I buy at many of the local Mediterranean/Armenian restaurants in our area. I normally eat kebabs with my homemade Tzatziki sauce, but these kebabs do not need any accompaniment because they are so good and so flavorful all by themselves. I did, however, serve it with my new found favorite Basmati Rice Pilaf and my Mediterranean meal was complete.

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (less if you don't like it spicy)
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of any fat and cut into large pieces)
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
oil for greasing the grill
bamboo skewers, soaked in water for about an hour

1) In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, olive oil, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, zest and juice of lemon, salt black pepper and garlic. Stir until thoroughly combined.

2) Thread chicken pieces onto the skewers, alternating occasionally with the red onion pieces. Be sure not to cram the skewers. Place the kebabs on a tray lined with aluminum foil. Brush or spoon the marinade all over the meat and onions coating well. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

3) Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grease the grill by dipping some paper towel in oil and wiping down the grill with it. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with rice and/or tzatziki sauce.

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