With the summer heat getting closer, many people will be starting to have BBQs. A common entree that many people grill is shish kebabs. Their origin comes from the nomadic Bedouin culture of the Middle East. It was used as a way to eat using disposable utensils that can be found easily. In their original conception most believe that they were just meat on a stick however over time they became more complex.
The most common kebabs are made with beef, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. These are easy to find and use. Many grocery stores even sell pre-made marinades and washes that would work well with this combination.
Today, we have an extremely wide variety of kebabs in existence. The Greeks have suvlaki made for either lamb or pork. In Armenia, meatballs are shaped around the skewers and seasoned with pepper and parsley. China has a street food, called chuanr, which is a deep-fried kebab. These are made with any meat, then served to on the go with cumin and sesame oil.
I could go on, but we need to talk about today’s recipe. Shish Taouk is a Lebanese-citrus-chicken kebab. Lebanese food is noted most often for its use of citrus fruit and lack of red meat. I found these delicious concoctions at a Mediterranean restaurant in Corpus Christi, Texas. I went home and found a recipe for them and started modifying. Two years later I think I finally got it perfect.
Traditionally, shish taouk is served over a bed of rice and without vegetables accompanying it. Though, it does go well with with potato and zucchini chunks.
When I make this, I follow my recipe exactly, but I know not every college student makes as much as I do so here are some suggestions on how to cut back on cost. Canola oil makes a good substitute for olive oil. Orange extract can be used instead of squeezing and zesting a fresh orange. Cayenne pepper is pretty expensive, especially if you do not use it for many foods. Chili powder and paprika can replace it. Garlic powder can be used instead of minced garlic, but it is worth it to use minced garlic. If a grill is not available, this can be pan fried in its own marinade.
Cut chicken into 1.5 inch squares. Place in a gallon zip-lock bag. Zest about 1 tablespoon of the orange peel. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the bag with the chicken. Combine the remaining ingredients into the bag and all to sit in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours.
Skewer the chicken and grill over char coal. Serve over a bed of rice.
2 lbs of chicken breast
1 cup olive oil
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic