Lemon Chicken Shish Kebab

I really love making shish kebab – it’s always praised effusively when made for friends and that pay off comes with very little work.  Buy a bunch of veggies and a little meat, let them hang in some herbs and spices, thread on skewers, grill or broil and call it a day.  This marinade could not be any easier, and best of all, is made with such common pantry staples, you don’t have to do any special shopping ahead of time to get this one on the table.

The best part is that you can absolutely do what you like when making this – if you prefer red meat to chicken, substitute cubes of beef tenderloin or tender lamb.   Like seafood better?  Try this recipe with cubes of swordfish threaded on skewers, separated by bay leaves instead of the vegetables.  It makes a hearty, savory alternative to the traditional red meat or chicken.  And of course, you can bypass the meat altogether and just go with the veggies alone.  Use whatever assortment of vegetables that look the best in the grocery, or are on hand in your fridge – eggplant and squash also make excellent additions.  It’s all good!

Serve these gems with a squeeze of lemon and a side of fluffy rice or pita.  No fuss, no muss and people will swoon for the fresh preparation and bright ingredients.  It’s such a winner, you’ve just gotta try it.

Recipe for

Lemon Chicken Shish Kebab

1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbs. of olive oil
1 tsp. of garlic powder
1/2 tsp. of onion powder
1 tsp. of paprika
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1/2 tsp. of kosher salt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cl. of garlic

whole mushrooms (white or crimini)
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
cherry tomatoes
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs. of olive oil
black pepper
1 tsp of salt

Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and place in a tupperware.  On a clean cutting board, loosely chop garlic and then sprinkle the kosher salt on top.  Using the blade of your knife, drag it across the garlic to mash it into the salt, forming a paste.  Add garlic paste to chicken, along with the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir well and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Remove chicken from fridge and let rest on the counter while you prep the veggies.  Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel and place in a bowl.  Add your cherry tomatoes to the bowl.  Cut red and green pepper into 1 inch chunks and add to the mushrooms.  Next, cut onion into 1 inch chunks, making sure to keep the slices of onion together as best you can.  Set aside, separate from the mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes.  In the veggie bowl, add the lemon zest, olive oil, black pepper and salt.  Toss to combine flavors.

Get out some skewers – if you are using bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water first to prevent them from burning.  Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers, alternating between meat and veggies.  Place skewers on a tray to hang out while you continue to assemble the shish kebab.

Lightly grease a grill or a grill pan with canola oil or Pam for grilling and heat to smoking.  Turn heat down to medium and cook kebabs until veggies are charred and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.  Serve.