I am a fan of Claudia Roden – and have been for years. When I was in undergrad, I discovered a recipe in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food called “Shish Taouk” a.k.a. Chicken Kebab, that my boyfriend loved. It took a little more time than a typical college meal, with the skewering and all, but tastes way better than dorm food or anything ‘on-a-stick.’ Usually, I serve these kebabs with Israeli Couscous and a simple salad. The other night, my then boyfriend- now husband -and I made the kebabs and served them alongside Rice with Herbs, Asparagus and Mushrooms with Prosciutto, Shallots and Thyme.
The lemon juice in the marinade ‘cooks’ the chicken a bit and tenderizes it greatly. I have found that the most ideal flexitarian to the most die-hard meat and potatoes lover can both agree to really like this dish. The kebabs are easy – marinate, skewer, grill (or bake). This is a 4 ingredient recipe (+ salt and pepper) worth adding to your monthly meal rotation.
Don’t like the skewering part? Don’t do it! Don’t let the skewers scare you! Marinate the chicken and pan-fry it, bake it or grill the entire marinated chicken breasts/tenders. You will find many recipes involving chicken, lemon and garlic. Some add thyme or crushed red pepper flakes. The point is, this recipe is a very solid springboard to new variations on good dinners!
Lemon-Garlic Chicken Kebabs
Original recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 T extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag. Place on dish in refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes – 3 hours.
Skewer chicken pieces onto skewers.
Cook kebabs on the grill over medium flame 10 minutes, turning half way, or broil on a foil-lined pan for 7-10 minutes, turning halfway.
* If using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes (while chicken marinates) prior to skewering chicken.
***Note: I am a complete wimp when it comes to raw chicken breasts. Give me a whole bird – and I am fine, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut up and chilled with oil? ugh. BUT despite this, I skewer on, a bit like a priss, with my pinkie up in the air.