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Middle East style Chicken Kebabs (VIDEO)

Updated: May 31, 2023


chicken kebabs

So, if you've ever wondered how to make your own shish kebabs, you've come to the right place. This recipe is EASY to make and a JOY to eat: juicy, flavorful, beautiful to serve and crowd pleasing. Did I mention INEXPENSIVE too?

kebabs on a grill

You all know I was born and raised in Ukraine, and all my recipes are American and Ukrainian cuisine and are the most popular items that you usually see in restaurants. I cook at home with the best ingredients from scratch. Cooking is my hobby and raising a healthy family is my mission. Sharing it with you all is my way to share love.


Here is a Ukrainian-style Sshish kebab recipe that you must try, especially if you like pork!

shish kebab

HOW I BECAME A SPICE LOVER

But you probably don't know, one of the first few jobs that I held in the US was in a restaurant, in fact a Middle Eastern restaurant, called Sahara. It was a family owned business and all recipes there were truly authentic having been passed down from grandmother to son, etc. I remember there was a very grumpy woman with an extremely unfriendly face who never spoke a word of English who made the menu and practically ran the restaurant. Her son was translating between her and his lovely wife who was an immigrant just like me! She came from Ireland and learned a lot from her mother-in-law regarding how to cook Middle Eastern style food. We both came from countries where food is a little bit on the bland side because not many spices are used. We both worked together as one in the kitchen learning how to make use of spices and create some delectable dishes.

Lovely memories prevail in my mind from those days of cooking at Sahara. Due to this experience, I became a lover of spices.

Through this blog I mention many times how powerful are spices and how many healing properties they possess. Please, see this video-tour of my spice collection. Also, read this book, which will encourage you to love them more and not go one day without spices in your life.


THE SECRET OF THIS RECIPE

An absolute stone-cold classic, chicken shish kebabs are easy to prepare and taste amazing. Even better, they cook on the grill in less than 10 minutes. I promise you with this recipe, you get maximum taste for minimal effort. The secret comes down to just two key factors that make shish kebabs so tasty.

  • The first is marinating the meat the NIGHT BEFORE. This is the secret to flavoring any meat and will send your taste buds into overdrive. Don't worry – the total time for prepping the meat is just a matter of minutes, then you let the ingredients do the work, as they infuse into the meat overnight. This will make the meat incredibly tender and juicy.

  • The second secret is to grill the chicken hot and fast. This really opens up the flavor, both of the meat and the marinade. Everything cooks in minutes and tastes like a dream. This is what makes this shish kebab such an amazing addition to a barbecue. It's BBQ season so take advantage of this recipe!


WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS?

Chicken of course is the main ingredient. Use either thighs or breasts; it's up to you.

Spices are truly the key to igniting the chicken and I am not talking about heat but authentic Middle Eastern spices. These are spices that will make your food sing producing an aroma that engulfs your kitchen and can be smelled from a mile away!!!

After I moved to the South, I began to crave those delightful Middle Eastern dishes that I had once prepared for customers. Those enticing spices from working at the Lebanese restaurant had spoiled my taste buds. Therefore, I started making those beloved dishes more often and spiced up our dinner table for sure!

Of those spices, the most common mix used is the Baharat Spice Mix (Syrian pepper), or another name for it is 7 spices. This is absolutely one of my favorite spice mixes, so warm and aromatic, transforming any food into a comfort food causing you to indulge in second servings!

thyme and spice on a spoon

HOW TO SUBSTITUTE BAHARAT SPICE MIX?

If you don't have it on hand, use a mixture of cumin, clove, and nutmeg with a tiny pinch of cinnamon.


Not long ago, I published a vegetarian recipe using this spice.

salad

HOW TO SERVE THESE CHICKEN KEBABS?

There are two main ways to serve Chicken kebabs.

  1. Pita bread or Wraps – Wrap with tomato and lettuce with a simple yoghurt sauce on the side. Other optional extras include pickled red onion, hummus, tahini sauce, tzatziki sauce or hot sauce.

  2. Kebab plate – Serve with Lebanese style rice pilaf and salads such as tabouli or Fattoush on the side. I usually serve it with a big dollop of homemade yogurt or tahini sauce.

shish kebabs, salad, sauce

Let's do it...


Prep time: 10 minutes

Inactive time: 8 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 8 hours and 30 minutes

Author: Inna of innichkachef.com

Served: 3-6 people

ingredients

Ingredients for kebabs

2 lb. Chicken breasts or thighs

1 cup plain yogurt any kind or kefir

1 lemon thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 Tablespoons hot sauce of your choice

2 Tablespoons 7 spices mix (Baharat Spice Mix)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoons pink salt

1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro (plus some for garnish)


Directions

  • Cut chicken into small pieces. I cut up a small chicken breast into 6 pieces.

  • In a large bowl add chicken. For the marinade, combine the onion, lemon, yogurt, hot sauce, salt, turmeric, 7 spices mix, parsley and yogurt.

  • Use gloves for the next step, which is mixing everything well.

  • Cover, and let rest/marinate in the fridge for at least one hour but I highly recommend that you marinate it overnight.

  • Thread the chicken on skewers right before grilling. Using a kitchen glove for this step is not a bad idea.

  • Grill on medium heat for 5-6 minutes per side.

  • Serve with Lebanese rice pilaf or pita bread, Tabouli salad or just simply lettuce and tomatoes. Don't forget the sauce! Tzatziki or tahini sauce are the best choices for this dish.

Enjoy with company and a glass of wine!


I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest.





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