I think it’s no secret at this point that I love ethnic food, ESPECIALLY if it’s spicy. Something about the belly-warming feeling of a hot meal with a good amount of spice really gets my mouth watering. I also love grilling – screw that preconception that men are supposed to be the grillers! There really isn’t anything better than – or anything that can be a substitute for – the smoky, charred flavors a grill can provide.
Since we’re going to be saying goodbye to summer in a month or so – or rather, many of you readers are, because Florida is perpetually in a state of summer – I decided to post this amazing little meal up while you still have some sunshine and warm days to enjoy it with. Plus, what’s more fun than eating food on a stick?
Turkish Chicken Kabobs!
For the marinade…
2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 Tbsp. smoked paprika plus some for sprinkling
2 Tbsp. red chili flakes plus some for sprinkling
1 c. greek yogurt
6 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (OR substitute 1 Tbsp. white vinegar and a splash of red wine)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
Salt to taste
And the rest…
1 large yellow onion
1-2 red bell peppers
…and whatever other veggies you like on kabobs!
Mix the paprika and chili flakes together in a large bowl – add about 1 Tbsp. of hot water to form a thick paste. Let that leech out the flavors for a few minutes while you chop your chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice your lemon into thin rounds. Mix all the other marinade ingredients together, tasting to see how much salt is needed.
Throw in your chicken and lemon rounds. Allow this to marinate for at LEAST 2 hours – can be done a day ahead.
When you’re ready to get cookin’…
…take your chicken out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat your grill on HIGH. Chop up your veggies so that they are skewerable (is that a word?). Thread alternating bits of chicken and veggies onto your skewers – try to get some of the marinade off, but SOME trapped in between chicken pieces really gets this juicy and tender so don’t worry too much!
Little side note here – I was looking up some skewers on amazon.com since mine are getting a little long in the tooth, and I found these neat little things. They would definitely make this meal much less messy to prepare – chalk that up to another food related expense on my card!
Once your hands are all messy and the skewers are ready, place on the grill and leave open – you’re wanting to char the edges of the veggies and chicken a little. Let that grill for about 10-15 minutes, turning and sprinkling with the paprika and red chili flakes (easy on those!) Serve with rice and some lemon wedges!
Due to the spice in this, I’d suggest a sweeter white to balance. Since I usually “outsource” my wines, why not throw in a little melting pot action here and go for an American wine?
Estancia Sauvignon Blanc from Monterey, around $13. The nose of orange blossoms melds beautifully with the richness of the yogurt and spice in the dish, finished off with a bite of lemongrass that beautifully compliments the lemon flavors infused into the chicken. Serve chilled!