Friday, 15 June 2018

Greek Yoghurt Chicken Shish Kebab

Something for the weekend
I'm not a dietetic diva or anything I swear, I'm not, but if I don’t have a carton of yogurt in my fridge, I can barely eat. I mean, I start almost every single day with the stuff. I'm either dolloping it into my smoothies, stirring it into my morning oats, or topping it with granola and bananas (by far my favourite breakfast).
And that's just the first meal of the day. For lunch, I´ll stir it through a potato salad, and wait for it, for tomorrows dinner I'll use yogurt as a marinade for my meat.
Yogurt has two things working for it as a marinade: microbes and lactic acid.The active bacteria in yogurt breaks down protein, making chicken breasts  moist and tender.
Yogurt has been used for centuries as a tenderizing marinade in the cuisines of India, Iran, Turkey, Greece, and North Africa. If your mouth is watering at the mention of these regional styles of cooking, you’re probably thinking about their characteristically fragrant and flavourful spice blends. Spices flourish in yogurt, in the same way they do in hot oil. And since the yogurt also penetrates meat very effectively, it’s the perfect vehicle for delivering the flavour of spices into steaks, chops, fillets, poultry, and skewered meats of almost any kind. You can use virtually any mix of spices and seasonings, or take inspiration from these classic combinations:

Indian tandoori style: garam masala + saffron + ginger + garlic
Greek style: oregano + garlic + lemon
North African style: ras el hanout + harissa + paprika + preserved lemon + garlic
Indonesian satay style: Turmeric + coriander seed + lime zest + ginger + garlic + chile

Don’t forget the salt and pepper. You only need a light coating of seasoned yogurt to make a really delicious and effective marinade. Using re-sealable plastic bags allows you to maximize the contact between the marinade and the meat. Things like prawns and delicate fillets should only marinate for about 45 minutes – other meats can take between 4 and 12 hours and even overnight. It really depends on thickness and density.
And the limit to the flavour combinations you can create in  pursuit of perfecting your own signature yoghurt-based marinade really only depends on your imagination.so get your marinade in the fridge, light the barbie and Whoooooosh.....Kebabs for dinner.

Greek Yoghurt Chicken Shish Kebab
Prep 10 min
Marinade 4 hr+
Cooking 15 min
Serves 4-6
For the marinade
100ml greek yoghurt
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp hot red pepper paste 
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

FOR THE CHICKEN
8 chicken thighs, boned, skinned and quartered
4 thin metal skewers, 40–45cm long

TO SERVE
Home made pan cooked yoghurt  flatbread
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to brush
Spring onion, chopped
Fresh oregano leaves
Put all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the chicken, massage the marinade into the meat until well coated, cover and leave in the fridge for at least four hours – preferably overnight.
Put the chicken pieces on the skewers.
Grill the skewers directly over medium-hot embers, turning frequently to ensure both sides are well coloured and the chicken is cooked all the way through – check with a knife (or to 70C with a thermometer).
To serve, transfer the flatbreads to a big plate, put the kebabs on another, brush with olive oil, then scatter with the spring onion and oregano leaves.

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