Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chicken Shish Kebab (Tavuk Şiş Kebab) and Zerzavat (Onion Salad with Sumac and Parsley)

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.

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Elra said...

Absolutely delicious! Love chicken kebab! I never made Zerzavat before, sound really delicious.

FoodTravelDiva said...

What a delicious sounding (and looking) meal! That onion salad sounds so interesting! Thanks for sharing :-)

Mediterranean kiwi said...

we recently had chicken shish kebab too - delicious

thanks for the story about the fava beans - hilarious that we have the same tales!

lisaiscooking said...

The marinade for the chicken sounds great! I love kebabs, and this would be a delicious meal.

Soma said...

The thing I was waiting for months now:-) LOL Nihal, making me drool. we started going to Cafe Istanbul here, & enjoying the food. I will have to get thyme.
Thank yoU!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Soma, I hope you do get the chance to make it at home. If you do try it, please let me know. By the way, I am still going to make that chicken curry recipe you posted a couple months back. Maybe this week. I am only missing turmeric. Maybe I'll make it without it.

Reeni♥ said...

These look so yummy - love your marinade - very flavorful! And the zerzavat sounds so good too. I have yet to try sumac though.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Onion salad,the Sumac adds beauty as it does flavor..I think I heard once that adding it also takes out the ''sting'' of the Onion..is that true..? :) Mia

History of Greek Food said...

I love this kebab!
BTW,is the word zerzavat used especially for onion salad or for any vegetable salad? In Creece, when we say zarzavatika (the word is a turkish loan, of course)we mean vegetables, raw or cooked.

Anonymous said...

Chicken kebabs look delicious! I'm looking forward to making Zerzavat - it sounds like a great accompaniment!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Mia, I thought the salt takes out the sting from the onion. Not sure about sumac..

HGF, zerzavat is only called for onion salad in the region I am from. Not for other vegetables though.

meeso said...

~ Urg, my tummy is growling, this looks so good!

betty said...

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Anonymous said...

YUM!! Those shish kebabs look delicous! great summer thing too!
Thanks for the recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

How do you make red pepper paste? - or what is similar? - because I don't think I've seen it?

Great blog n recipes btw!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Anonymous, if you cannot find red pepper paste, you can make it yourself if you do not mind spending the time. My mom is actually is right beside me and I asked her how it's made. I'll post a recipe on how to make it later. But for a quick solution, I would grind up some red peppers and cook them in a pan until the peppers thicken. If you desire, you may add some salt.
Hope this gives you an idea.