Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicken Kebab with Yogurt Sauce



Yogurt is turning out to be quite the cooking staple at home these days. Well not really; this is only the second dish that I've cooked with yogurt in it, and probably the third or fourth that I've ever tasted in my life. I'm used to eating yogurt as a side complement to a main course, or as breakfast or that quick snack between meals, but using it in a heated sauce just never occurred to me, or at least I never tried it. After the success of my Lebanese Meatballs in Yogurt Sauce, though, I had to go back and try again!


Of all things, I'm so proud of my ever-improving grilling skills. The chicken, thanks to the marinade, but also to my gorgeous new griddle, was very delicious! It tasted light with just enough charred flavour from the hot griddle, and was so juicy in the middle. Thinking about it is making me hungry again even though I just ate a huge bowl of sichuan noodles!


Improvements? Can't think of any except in technique. Initially, I just took the chicken chunks out of the marinade and immediately put them on the griddle, which obviously led to a thick layer of carbon forming at the base of the griddle as the yogurt quickly burnt away. This can be easily sorted by making sure that you shake off the lose marinade before sticking it on to the pan.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
300 ml (3/4 carton) Yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chopped Oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tbsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh tarragon
250g chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
Juice of ½ lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Mix yogurt with herbs, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a small bowl. 
  2. Add in the chicken cubes and make sure they are completely doused by the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  3. Brush a griddle pan with olive oil and put it on high heat until it’s very hot. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place the chicken cubes on the griddle and cook each side for at least 3 mins or until it’s halfway cooked. Turn and repeat until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. You may need to wipe off the burnt yogurt marinade from the pan or the chicken cubes when you turn the meat.
  5. Pour the remaining marinade in a saucepan and heat it gently over low heat. Stir continuously to avoid the yogurt from splitting. 
  6. Remove from heat after a few mins and use as a sauce for the kebab. This dish goes very well with saffron rice or cous cous.