Summer is the time to grill and this is a recipe we have turned to many times. It is simple but has an amazing flavor. I came across the recipe in Bon Appétit magazine back in 2009. I usually follow the original recipe, but I’ve made a few minor changes. I love the flavor of sumac, so I add some za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, right before the kebabs go on the grill. You can add more after they are done too. I also use only skinless boneless chicken breast. Just a preference. I’ve added a link to the original recipe below so you can decide for yourself.
Aleppo Pepper Chicken Kebabs
1 1/2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
2 lemons; 1 thinly sliced into rounds, 1 cut into wedges for serving
2 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 – 2 tablespoons za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend)*
Place the Aleppo pepper in a large bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes as it thickens. Mix with a small whisk to make a paste.
Add the yogurt, olive oil, sherry vinegar, tomato paste and the salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
Carefully mix in the garlic and the lemon slices along with the chicken.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
Preheat your grill (we use a gas grill) to medium-high heat.
Divide the chicken equally into 4 skewers (depending on the size of the skewers you are using). Sprinkle each skewer with the za’atar spice blend.
Grill the kebabs until the chicken is nicely charred and cooked through, making sure to turn the kebabs frequently (about 10 minutes). Transfer the kebabs to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side.
We like to serve this with a roasted vegetable Israeli couscous salad we found on the Food Network website. We grill the vegetables before we cook the chicken kebabs and finish up the salad while the kebabs are on the grill. I’ll add the link below. But, just so you know, I use a lot less of the dressing than is called for in the recipe. I like the vegetables to shine through! We also serve some hummus and pita bread on the side. A delicious meal!
The original recipe on epicurious.com:
You can buy Za’atar or you can make your own. Here are some links to a few recipes. I like the simple recipe with fewer ingredients.
The Israeli Couscous recipe we use is from Food Network’s, Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay. We have the couscous and the vinaigrette ready for the vegetables.