Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs

Quick Info

Lunch, Dinner Dairy Over 30 min 6

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Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs

Description

The flavors of this dish are quintessentially Greek, which goes well with the Greek yogurt, which is the star of the marinade, and the accompanying tzatziki.  The yogurt, along with a bit of cream, adds rich flavor to the chicken, and also tenderizes it, especially in conjunction with the lemon juice.  The little lemon wedges caramelize during cooking, lending a wonderful smoky, citrus flavor to the kebabs, and can be eaten if desired.

Ingredients

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs:

  • 2 large lemons, washed
  • 1 cup Chobani plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Land O’ Lakes Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Tzatziki to serve (recipe follows)

Tzatziki:

  • 1 large seedless cucumber, peeled, seeded (even seedless cucumbers have some seeds) and coarsely grated
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, plus more to taste if necessary
  • 2/3 cup Chobani plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs:
  1. Cut one lemon in half, and each half into 6 wedges. Then, cut the wedges crosswise so that you have 24 small pieces of lemon.  Zest the second lemon, and juice it; you should have about 5 to 6 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice with the yogurt, garlic, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Add the chicken and stir to coat the chicken well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 to 6 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, cover 12, 6-inch wooden skewers in water and soak for at least 30 minutes, to prevent them from burning.  Preheat the broiler.
  4. Skewer the chicken, alternating two pieces of chicken with one piece of lemon, using 6 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of lemon in all on each skewer. 
  5. Broil the kebabs 5 minutes, until browned on top, then turn, and broil for about 5 or 6 minutes more.  Serve with the Tzatziki.  
 
Tzatziki:
  1. If you salt the cucumbers, the dip can be made up to 6 hours ahead — give it a stir before serving. If you skip the salting/squeezing step, reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon and just mix it in with the other ingredients and use the dip within a couple of hours or so, or it can get a bit watery. Either way, tuck it in the fridge.
  2. Put the grated cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with a teaspoon of coarse or kosher salt. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse the cucumber with cold water and squeeze it as dry as possible using your hands.
  3. Put the grated cucumber in a bowl, add the yogurt and stir to blend. Add the garlic, mint, olive oil, vinegar and pepper and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
 
Cooking Tips:
  • You could grill the kebabs instead of broiling them – the cooking time should be about the same.
  • You could try other small pieces of citrus like oranges or limes in places of the lemon chunks.
  • You could use chicken breasts instead of thighs if you prefer white meat; just reduce the grilling time to a total of 8 minutes instead of 12.  
  • Lamb or pork would also be good instead of the chicken.
  • Serve these kebabs on a bed of couscous, rice or orzo, tossed with additional fresh herbs, if desired. 

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