Spring is here! Maybe not officially, but it seems to have finally come. My favorite time of the year has to be Spring, while Fall is a close second. I love when the trees and flowers start to blossom around town, and throughout the countryside. It’s absolutely beautiful, but it wreaks havoc on my seasonal allergies. But hey, that’s what medications are for Here, I go, getting off topic again. Anyhow, the Spring time offers the perfect weather for outdoor activities, such as cycling, running, hiking, and gardening! The only problem with spring is that summer is right around the corner, which means hot, dry desert weather. It can get up to 115 degrees during the hottest part of the day during the summer months. Blech. The thought of it is nauseating. But the great part of spring and summer is the longer days, and the endless time spent grilling anything and everything!
My grill has been on a hiatus since late fall. I wish I could be an avid griller all year around, but I’m just not hearty enough to grill during the dead of winter. And plus, it’s too dark to grill outdoors during the winter months. I suppose I could buy some lighting accessories, but I guess I’m not THAT motivated. Besides, that’s what the broiler setting is for! Anyhow, the weather is supposed to be in the upper 60s during the day for the next few weeks. So it was the perfect time to redo my drip irrigation system around the front and backyard, plant some vegetable seeds and starter vegetable plants, and cleaned the grill! Yes. It was a busy day for me. But I was really excited because I got to fire up the grill to make chicken kabobs as left overs for pita sandwiches, wraps, and as a topping for my lebanese fattoush salad. Winning.
Shish Taouk – Lebanese Chicken Skewers
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon paprika
3/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic, yogurt, tomato paste, olive oil and lemon juice. Add in the dried spices, salt and pepper, and whisk together. Coat the chicken with the marinade and cover bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 8 hours. Any longer and you’ll have mushy chicken because the acidity of the lemon juice and Greek yogurt will “cook” or break down the texture of the chicken.
Thread chicken on skewers and grill or cook under a broiler. Grill the chicken over moderately high to high, or broil for about 5-7 minutes per side, flipping once, until you see visible char marks and the chicken is cooked through.
Makes 2 servings.