Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebabs & Bell Pepper Salad

Now that summer grilling season is here, think about this simple, healthy recipe. The flavor is outstanding; interesting with the faintest hint of heat and the marinade ensures they are tender and moist, even when using breast meat. I’ve had this on my list of things to make since I saw it in a 2009 Bon Appetit and am so glad I pulled it out and made them.

Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebobs
Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebobs

Bon Appetit had this to say about the recipe author:

“Musa Dagdeviren is the go-to guy if you want to know about Turkish barbecue… He’ll start with chicken thighs marinated in creamy Turkish yogurt, chile paste, and garlic—to be grilled on skewers over charcoal…the combination of creamy yogurt, pungent garlic, and smoky pepper flakes produces the sort of chicken that has made the Turks the Near East’s undisputed grill masters for centuries.”

I guarantee you, these kebabs will make you a grill master, too! They made me one. 🙂 Easy, simple and fun, plus mostly make ahead, designates this recipe for an easy family dinner or a great company meal!

I’ve served this with my very loose interpretation of Ezme, which I’ve dubbed Bell Pepper and Tomato Salad, a bit of Cucumber Yogurt Sauce and Turkish Rice Pilaf. The Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebabs ran me around $3.07 and the cost for the total meal: $5.04. Scroll, below, to see how I’ve put my strategies to work.

Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebobs
Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebobs

Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebabs

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: 30 min plus marinade time
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper* or 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper plus 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika, plus additional Aleppo pepper or paprika for sprinkling
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt** (8 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
  • 1 unpeeled lemons; 1/2 thinly sliced into rounds, the other half reserved to top the finished chicken.
  •  2 pounds skinless boneless chicken (thighs and/or breast halves), sliced into strips, 1/4 inch thick
  • Special equipment: Flat metal skewers

If using Aleppo pepper, place in large bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon warm water. Let stand until thick paste forms, about 5 minutes. If using dried crushed red pepper and paprika combination, place in large bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons warm water and let stand until paste forms, about 5 minutes.

Add yogurt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper to spice mixture in bowl; whisk to blend. Stir in garlic and lemon slices, then chicken. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Thread chicken pieces on metal skewers, dividing equally. Discard marinade in bowl. Sprinkle each skewer with salt, pepper, and additional Aleppo pepper or paprika. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer skewers to platter. Surround with lemon wedges and serve.

*A slightly sweet Syrian pepper with a moderate heat level; available at some specialty foods stores and from wholespice.com.

** A thick yogurt;  If unavailable, place regular yogurt in cheesecloth-lined strainer set over large bowl. Cover and chill overnight to drain.

Note: One note about this recipe:  I marinated over night, but after about an hour and a half of marinating, I cooked up a “test” kebab. It was hot – but after their overnight soak, the flavors had mellowed and there was very little discernible heat.  Consider this when planning for the recipe.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com, adapted from Bon Appetit

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Nutrition:

(based on 4 servings)  Cal 322.56; Cal fr Fat 109; % fat 34; tot fat 12gl sat fat 2.48; chol 128mg; sod 386; tot carb 5; fib 2g; sug .67g; prot 48g.

Put Your Own Spin on It:

  • You could go Indian very easily – just use yogurt with some mint, cumin, ginger, cilantro and a bit of cayenne and some turmeric.
  • Lime would be equally delicious in this recipe instead of lemon.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

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Yogurt Marinated Shish Kebabs made May 2012.

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