I got this recipe for Middle-Eastern spiced chicken skewers from Bon Appetit magazine sometime last year. I didn’t save the magazine so I don’t know what they thought about this recipe. So you’re stuck with hearing what I think about it.
I think it’s terrific. Pretty too. Pomegranate seeds make everything pretty. Which is similar to the way that tahini makes everything delicious and yogurt makes everything healthy. Making this recipe terrifically pretty and healthy too. I’d say this was a fresh, modern interpretation of Middle Eastern cuisine. It features an interesting mix of seasonings known in Turkey as Bahārāt, which includes cumin, oregano, and dried mint. Bahārāt is the Arabic word for ‘spices’. So you might get confused when you Google around for the word. What makes this version typically Turkish is the addition of mint into the mixture.
So that’s what I think (and know) about this recipe.
What do you think?
serves 6 CLICK here for a printable recipe
- 1 T freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 T dried mint
- 1 T dried oregano
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 t ground nutmeg
- 6 T freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- 1 clv garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 c greek yogurt
- 1/4 c tahini
- 1 c pomegranate seeds
- 1 c pistachio, shelled, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1/2 c flat leafed parsley, roughly chopped
- 4 T olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, peeled and grated
- 3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2‑inch chunks
- 6 whole pita breads, warmed in the oven
Make the spice mix: Using mortar and pestle grind black pepper, dried mint, dried oregano, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, and ground nutmeg for 2 to 3 minutes. May be made 1 week ahead. Cover to store.
Make the tahini yogurt: Combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the spice mix you just made, and garlic in medium bowl; stir to blend. Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in yogurt and tahini. Season tahini yogurt to taste with salt. May be made up to 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Make the pomegranate relish: Mix pomegranate seeds, pistachios, parsley, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. May be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Make the chicken: Whisk grated onion, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining spice mix in large bowl. Add chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Preheat broiler. Divide the chicken chunks between 6 skewers, threading them with out packing them too tightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on small rimmed baking sheet. Broil chicken until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Arrange kebabs on platter. Serve with tahini yogurt, pomegranate relish, and warm pita breads.
Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in Panama & Costa Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.