This recipe is one of my absolute summer favorites. It’s quick, easy and everyone I’ve ever served it to has asked for the recipe or at least eaten it up and asked for more if they were too young to cook or care about cooking! It’s one of those recipes I got from a friend who also loves cooking. One night, we were chatting on the phone and we started talking about what we were having for dinner that night. She told me her general recipe and it sounded good, so I decided to try and commit it to memory. By the time I got around to actually making it, I wasn’t really sure what she had said so did what I thought I remembered…lucky for me, it worked. It doesn’t always turn out so well. (As I’m getting older, I find I reconstruct things to suit myself but not always to match the way it really happened. For many years I told a story about my aunt who lives up in the wilderness and how one day she’d been out walking with her dog. Her dog had run off the trail and when it returned, a wolf was hot on its heels. My aunt happened to have a rifle with her and she got off a shot, which scared the wolf away and saved her dog. I was convinced this was a true story, but one year decided to run it by my aunt again to see if I’d gotten the details right. Turns out, none of it was true except that she does go walking with the dog, they have seen wolves many times where they live and fired shots at them from the house. Humph. My story was better. There was another one about my grandma shooting a bear off her back porch in Montana…but now I’ve wandered far off the topic of chicken and I’ve probably got that one wrong as well.)
I like to serve this with brown rice and a vegetable. The picture above has my watermelon feta salad with it which was an excellent combination.
Makes 6 skewers
serves 3-4 depending on appetite and side dishes
30 minutes to prepare
6-8 wooden skewers (soaked in water at least 30 minutes)
2-2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup plain yogurt
2-3 medium cloves garlic
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
3 sprigs of mint
-Make the marinade by mashing the garlic and 1 tsp of the salt with a mortar and pestle until it forms a nice paste. Add the cumin and turmeric and combine well. Put into a bowl and add a generous 1/2 cup of the yogurt to the bowl, set aside the shy 1/2 cup that’s left over. Combine the yogurt and garlic/spice paste well. Cut the chicken thighs into approximately 1″ cubes and put into the marinade. Set aside.
-Make a side sauce by putting the reserved shy 1/2 cup yogurt into a small food processor or blender. Tear the mint leaves off of the stem and put in with yogurt. Add the other 1/2 tsp salt and some pepper. Pulse the processor or blender until it makes a fairly fine puree. You’ll see still little bits of the mint leaves, but they should be quite small. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
-Put the chicken pieces on the skewers. If you have a gas grill, put it on high until the temperature reaches about 400 degrees. Put the skewers on the grill, close lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes and check to see if skewer lifts easily off grill. If it’s still sticking a lot, it’s not ready to turn yet, so cook a bit longer. Turn over and cook another 5-7 minutes until chicken is lightly browned on all sides and is tender when pierced.
-Serve with yogurt mint sauce on side.