middle eastern chicken kebab

wow, i loved how dramatic this dish looked! it’s a maria elia recipe from her fabulous new full of flavour book, and it is exactly that.

chicken thighs, deboned and marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, cinammon, allspice, salt and black pepper then squished onto a double set of skewers before being cooked through. we ate this with flat breads, salad (shredded lettuce, tomato mixed with fresh mint and finely sliced shallots softened in a little orange juice with a pinch of sumac), pickled chillies and a tahini and yoghurt dressing.

the recipe suggests you skewer up your uncooked meat and then griddle it for a bit of smokey flavour before finishing in the oven – my griddle pan is too small for my skewers so i briefly griddled the meat on each side and then put it on the skewers. this worked well and had the advantage that i could cook the fatter pieces of meat for a bit longer than then the others.

i can’t wait to make this again.

maria elia’s middle eastern kebab (serves 4)

4 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons sea salt

pinch of black pepper

juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons of ground cinnamon (i used half this)

2 tablespoons of ground allspice (i used half this)

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (i only had 9 but used full quantities for the marinade)

crush the garlic with the salt and black pepper in a pestle and mortar. stir in the lemon juice, olive oil and spices. pour over chicken and coat well, refrigerate and marinade for at least an hour or overnight.

pre-heat oven to 160c. fold the chicken thigh in half, and thread widthways onto the two skewers, leaving a 3cm gap between each skewer. repeat with remaining 11 until you form a solid chicken kebab. add a little salt and oil to the chicken.

place on a hot griddle pan, and sear on each side. transfer to a baking tray, and finish in the oven for 40-50 mins, turning halfway. reserve the cooking juices and pour over the chicken before serving. to serve,stand kebab on a chopping board, point side down, and slice off the meat using a sharp knife.

serve in warm pitta breads, with salad, pickles and yoghurt-tahini dressing.