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BackstoryVersions of this dish are served as a main course across a large part of the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean. The method leaves the meat completely tender and the flavors nicely balanced between the acidity of the yogurt and the light sweetness of the chicken. The difference between the dish when made with high-quality ingredients and one made with standard-issue ingredients is dramatic.
Small fingers of the marinated chicken also make a first-rate hot canapé – the lime and cilantro tang will stimulate appetite without the bulk necessary to satisfy it.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- ½ cup thick plain yogurt
- 1 scant tsp salt
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
- Few drops of olive oil
- Cut the chicken breasts into strips that are ¾ in (2cm) wide. Mix the yogurt with the salt, lime, cilantro, and spices. Coat the chicken in this mixture and let marinate for four hours. (The longer the chicken is left in the marinade, the more effect it will have. Four hours is ideal if you still want some vestige of chicken taste coming through the spices.)
- Preheat the broiler or prepare a charcoal grill. Thread the chicken strips onto pairs of skewers, spacing them out evenly, and putting about four strips of chicken on each pair.
- Sprinkle a few drops of olive oil on the kabobs, then broil or grill them until they are done, about seven minutes on each side