Oh yeah, this recipe is a mouthful to say. It might be best left as a weekend recipe, but if you’re really good at prep work then go for it on a weekday. It’s really not hard – it is just chicken on a skewer after all, but there are a fair amount of components.
I managed to get my work to order Bon Appetit under the guise that we should have magazines that appeal to all interests. No matter that I may be the only one there who reads it, I still count! This month’s issue had a section on spiffing up the lowly chicken and this recipe definitely did the trick. It’s light, yet complex, and fun to eat too. Plus, it was made by the chef at a restaurant that I’ve been to back in Cambridge, MA – Oleana.
For my boyfriend’s birthday, I got him a ridiculous grill. We’ve been using it all the time – such a treat after using a Smoky Joe for years! But if you don’t have a grill, or if it’s too cold and snowy, you don’t have to grill the chicken for this recipe, or make kebabs for that matter. You can broil it, or bake it, or use a grill pan if you’ve got one.
You can also make any kind of veggie side that you’d like. I grilled chunks of zucchini, eggplant, and onion. They were really, really good. I bought a red pepper to mix in also, but I forgot it. If you make one vegetable to go with the chicken, I recommend eggplant. It is just the best. Simply roasting it with some olive oil, salt, and pepper is delicious.
The plan for attacking this recipe is to make the Baharat seasoning first. Then prepare the chicken in the marinade. While that’s marinading, you can leisurely make the yogurt and the relish. Hey, that’s not so bad, actually!
All adapted from Bon Appetit. Serves 4.
1 1/2 tablespoons dried mint
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Mix all ingredients together. You may have to crush up the dried mint. The stuff I found was still full leaf and attached to stems. You could certainly also add fresh if you’ve got it, or if it’s all you can find.
spiced yogurt sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Baharat seasoning
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
salt to taste
Mix ingredients together. Feel free to use non-Greek yogurt. I did. As long as you drain the liquid out, you get the same basic consistency. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup tahini. I didn’t have any, nor did I feel like buying some because I rarely use it. I really thought this yogurt sauce was great as is, but feel free to add tahini if you like it or are curious. Serve this at room temperature.
pomegranate pistachio relish
1 1/4 cups pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
For the pomegranate, I would say don’t worry about matching the 1 1/4 cup amount. Just use one pomegranate and then adjust the rest of the recipe accordingly. You can also use salted or unsalted (as the recipe calls for) pistachios. I had salted.
1/2 cup coarsely grated onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Baharat seasoning
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, each halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 3 pieces
salt and pepper
1. Mix first four ingredients together then add chicken. Season with salt and pepper and let marinade for 1 to 2 hours, or more if you’ve got it.
2. Skewer chicken pieces. Season again with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes a side, depending on thickness. Our chicken was pretty big, so we cooked it a little longer to be safe.
3. Serve chicken with yogurt, relish, and the veggie you decided to make.