Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shish Kabobbery

Some things are just too good not to share. The above photo shows you one of them. Shish kabobbed chicken that's been marinated in a yogurt mixture, skewered with chunks of zucchini, broiled and served with an apricot-enhanced rice medley. (Cue long, satisfied sigh signifying sybaritic satiation.)

This is all Drew's fault, of course. He had to show off the fantastic barbecued chicken he did with yogurt marinade and, well, one thing led to another and the next thing you know, there I am, puttering around with a similar effort.

First, of course, I fired up my trusty steed, Google, and typed in yogurt marinade. Woooo! There are easily 60-jakillion recipes out there, Coffee Mates. It turns out yogurt has been a gentle and highly effective marinade for practically ever. Who knew? What I ended up with is pretty much like this recipe, except that it's also a lot like a similar recipe, only the similar recipe called for a full 3/4 cup of lime juice, and then there was another recipe that called for cardamom as well as the paprika and cumin and I sort of mixed them all up in a hybrid concoction. Okay?

Will you be shocked to find I didn't add any hot spices? I was. Don't know how I came to forget that. But this is pretty much what I did . . .

Shish Kabob Chicken Stuff

Cut up skinless boneless chicken breast into bite-sized chunks.

3/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons grated garlic
salt, pepper, cardamom, cumin, paprika -- about 1/2 teaspoon each

Mix together well, immerse chicken chunks, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or as long as overnight. (I did 4 hours.) Soak wooden skewers so they don't flare up in a blaze of glory and ruin your kabobs.

I didn't have any pineapple to skewer with the chicken but I had a zucchini that needed to be used. Chunked it up, drizzled olive oil over it, seasoned it with salt and some dry ranch dressing mix, tossed everything good so each chunk was well coated.

About half an hour before committing kabobbery, I started the rice. You can use any rice. I had some Trader Joe's Rice Medley, which is a combo of long grain brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds. I took 4 or 5 dried apricots and ran them through the chopper, pulsing until they were little bitty crumbs, then dropped them in the boiling water with the rice. Please trust me when I tell you that makes an excellent accent.

Okay. I started threading chicken chunks and zuke chunks alternately on the skewers, managing to avoid stabbing myself and actually coming out even on the number of skewers (six) that I had soaked. I couldn't pat myself on the back because I had marinade all over my hands but that's okay. By the way, that was from one chicken breast. Just so you know. There was plenty enough marinade for more than that.

Broiled those bad boys for 7 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the second side. If you do bigger chunks, your mileage may vary. And I don't have a clue about barbecue timing because I don't have a barbecue. How un-American of me.

The result? The word ecstasy comes to mind. Amazed delight is an accurate phrase. "Why didn't I know about this before now?" is an apt question. Because this chicken was so tender and SO juicy it was incredible. Remember, we're talking about breast meat, the cut folks most often complain is dry and bland. No blandness here, folks. The flavor was sublime, with just a whisper of the lime caressing my quivering taste buds. Not to put too pornographic a point on it.

Oh! Almost forgot to mention -- the zucchini was tasty and juicy, too. It turned out to be an excellent member of the team. Zukes can shish on my kabobs any old time.


Stephanie said...

I wish I had the motivation to cook like that, but I don't. Not anymore, anyway.

Dee said...

Motivations come and go, Stephanie. I think we get involved in different things at different times in our lives. You have a very full plate with other priorities right now. The cooking bug will come back when you need it.

Drew Kime said...

Dee, I almost did the kabobs, too. But I really wanted to compare it to my usual method and see how much difference the yogurt made. Quite a difference, isn't it?

Dee said...

Boy, you're not kidding, Drew! Thanks for turning us on to such a great marinade. It certainly makes a huge difference with the white meat.

bonnie said...

Let's see now, unload oven, find broiler pan, say would this do on my counter top grill perhaps?

Dee said...

Bonnie, I think your counter top grill would work great! Marvelous idea. Let me know how it comes out. (Hmmm -- bet I'd like a counter top grill. How come I don't have one?)