Perhaps one of the most tastiest cuisines on earth, the Lebanese cuisine has set the standard in how to make delicious smoked meats that are both moist and healthy. The Lebanese people have built their food palette around the most delicious spices, vegetables, grains and seasonings in the world. The food is bursting with flavor and a liberal use of olive oil ensures the meats are always moist. The people of Lebanon really know how to smoke meats and now you too can serve up delicious, moist kebabs right from your own BBQ.
One of the signature dishes in Lebanon is Shish Taouk, or chicken kebabs. These chicken kebobs, however, take smoked chicken to a whole new level with intense flavorings and spices. Here is a step-by-step guide to bringing the flavors of Lebanon to your BBQ grill:
• 8 chicken breasts
• 4 crushed garlic cloves
• ½ cup olive oil
• Lemon juice from 2 squeezed lemons
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 1 6oz can tomato paste
• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 3 tablespoons sumac **
• 1 ½ tablespoon sea salt
• 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
• 10-15 skewers
**Sumac is a traditional middle-eastern seasoning that can be bought in most supermarkets. The flavor is tart and is ideal on all meats, fish and raw or steamed vegetables.
1. Cut chicken breasts into nugget-size chunks.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together to create a marinade.
3. Pour the marinade into a Tupperware container and place chicken nuggets into marinade. Seal container and allow it to sit in refrigerator for ten hours or overnight. In a pinch, the chicken can marinate as for two hours at a minimum.
4. Fill skewers with chicken nuggets and place directly on BBQ grill.
5. Be careful to not flip skewers too often. Meat should always be flipped over only one time to allow meat to hold juices. Over-flipping and moving meat around the grill will cause meat to become dry and tasteless.
6. If chicken is going to be cut off the skewer and served loose on a big plate, allow the meat to rest for ten minutes after grilling. Doing so will ensure the meat holds its natural juices.
• To add some color and extra flavor to the kebab, place a slice of raw red pepper, green pepper and/or tomato in between each chicken nugget before grilling.
• Pita bread and flat bread can be grilled directly on the BBQ grill at the same time as the kebabs are grilling.
• Drizzle tahini sauce over the chicken when serving.
• Sprinkle parsley flakes over chicken before serving.
A Favorite Side Dish
There are many traditional side dishes that are ideal with Shish Taouk. Some of these dishes are hummus, warm flat bread and steamed vegetables. Hummus is very easy to make and extremely healthy as seen in this recipe:
• 1 19oz can of chick peas
• 1 crushed garlic glove
• 5 tablespoons lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons tahini sauce
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Using a food processor, simply whip all ingredients together until mixture is smooth and creamy.
2. Serve in a small bowl and garnish with a dab more olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Summer is a wonderful time to explore new flavors and grilling options. You and your family will love the taste of this classic Mediterranean dish and the ease of its preparation. Your BBQ grill has never had it so good!