Chicken Kebab Dinner

Chicken kebabs. Photo by Keri White

Who doesn’t love kebabs?

They are tasty, healthy, easy to eat and can be repurposed into salads or wraps if there are leftovers. The flavor and texture of the meat pleases everyone, and kids love the novelty of the presentation — even the pickiest eaters will be intrigued by dinner on a spear.

The only drawback, especially for this efficiency-oriented cook, is that they are somewhat labor intensive with the cutting and skewering. But for a small-ish crowd, they are a great summer dinner.

We made these classic chicken kebabs recently, and they were a hit. They were equally popular the next day for lunch — some folks tossed the pieces over a salad, others wrapped them in pita with tahini dressing and chopped veggies.

Many traditional kebab recipes present a problem for kosher and kosher-style diners because they use yogurt or buttermilk in the marinade as a tenderizer. But this recipe uses mayonnaise, which does the handy trick of delivering flavor and tenderizing because of the vinegar and lemon juice it contains.

Along with the kebabs, we served brown rice and a green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers. For dessert, we showcased the bounty of summer blueberries in a simple crisp.

Chicken Kebab Dinner
Serves 4 with leftovers

This was great with chicken, but the recipe would also work well with beef sirloin or lamb shoulder. If using beef or lamb, you may wish to moderate the cooking time to allow for medium-rare, which keeps the meat tender. Overcooked lamb or beef can be tough.

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs
⅔ cup mayonnaise
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lemons
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Bamboo or metal skewers

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

In a large zip-seal bag or sealable container, mix the remaining ingredients — squeeze the lemons and add the rinds into the mixture. Add the chicken and toss, making sure that all pieces are coated. Refrigerate it for 2-12 hours. Bring the chicken to room temperature.

If using bamboo, soak the skewers in water so that they don’t burn on the grill. Place several pieces of chicken on each skewer, leaving a bit of space between each piece to ensure even cooking.

On a medium-hot, well-oiled grill, place the chicken skewers, cover and allow them to cook for several minutes. When the chicken pulls away from the grill easily without sticking, it is ready to turn. Turn the chicken, wait several minutes and repeat until all sides are cooked. This should take about 12 minutes total, depending on the size of the pieces and the heat of the grill.

Remove the kebabs from the heat, place them on a plate and cover them with foil. Let them rest for several minutes and serve.

Blueberry crisp. noirchocolate / adobe

Blueberry Crisp
Serves 6

This simple crisp can be made with any seasonal fruit and, if you have leftovers, it doubles nicely for breakfast the next day, either solo or spooned over yogurt.

Following a meat dinner, this can be made pareve, but if that is not a consideration, use butter in the crisp topping for a richer flavor, and top it with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.

5 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup margarine, vegetable shortening, coconut oil, or non-dairy butter, softened
⅔ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
¾ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Heat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a 2-quart baking dish, place the blueberries, and add the sugar and lemon; mix well. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the remaining ingredients, making sure the butter is blended with all the dry ingredients. Crumble the oat mixture over the blueberries and press gently.

Bake for 35 minutes until the top is browning and the blueberry mixture is bubbly.


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