Chicken shish kebabs (şiş kebap- şiş means skewer and kebap means cubed, grilled meat) are an excellent alternative to regular lamb or beef şiş kebabs, especially for people who are not fond of red meat. When accompanied with zerzavat (onion salad with sumac and parsley) and rice or flat bread, it can make an excellent meal. Any type of meat can be used for şiş kebabs; however the most common ones are beef and lamb. Kebabs are also can be made with vegetables such as green peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, onions and etc.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
½ tbsp red pepper paste
1 clove of garlic (chopped finely)
½ tbsp thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
10 bamboo skewers or regular skewers
1 tsp olive oil for greasing the skewers
Vegetables on the Side:
1 bell pepper
2 plum tomatoes
1 white or yellow onion
Cut the chicken breasts into cubes. Put in a large bowl. Add the red pepper paste, garlic, thyme and salt. Add the olive oil and as the last step, add the lemon juice. With your hands (wear kitchen gloves so you do not make your hands messy) integrate all the ingredients so they are distributed evenly on the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
If you are using bamboo skewers, soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes in water prior to cooking the chicken, so that they do not burn during broiling or grilling. Oil the skewers ¾ of the way only, so that you have a place to hold the skewers without greasing your hands. Take each chicken cube and insert into the skewer, again ¾ of the way, not all the way.
Cut up the bell pepper in squares and quarter the onion. Start inserting the peppers, onions and one tomato in each greased skewer. Alternate the vegetables so that they look colorful.
Heat the broiler or grill. Broil or grill each side of the skewer for 12-13 minutes. Enjoy with rice pilaf and zerzavat.
Zerzavat (Onion Salad with Sumac and Parsley)
1 medium red onion (white or yellow will also work)
1 tbsp sumac
½ tsp salt
¼ cup parsley (chopped)
4 lemon wedges
Cut onion in half. Slice each half in thin slices so that you have half rings of onions. Sprinkle the salt and mix with the onion. Add the chopped parsley and sumac. Mix well. You may squeeze the lemon on top of the onion salad or you may serve with lemon wedges and squeeze the lemon while eating. Enjoy with grilled meat, chicken or fish.