Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Let the grilling begin! The trees are showing hints of fresh little green leaves popping out, and we made it through the long winter that was one for the record books. Sure you can grill any time of year, but standing in a pile of snow or shivering among crispy leaves while tending to dinner can’t compete with balmy spring and summer’s vibe.

Yogurt is popular for dips, condiments, and salads, and it is used for a classic Greek dessert drizzled with honey. It also makes a great base for a marinade that tenderizes with its acidity and blends well with herbs and spices, says meat expert and cookbook author Bruce Aidells, who created this recipe for Real Food. The marinade will also work well with other proteins, and he particularly likes it with lamb. Serve these kebabs with the cucumber and yogurt salad (recipe below) and rice or oven-roasted potatoes. Keep in mind Aidells suggests marinating the meat for 12 to 24 hours, so plan ahead if you can—that’s what makes for tender, flavorful chicken. Plus you can be one step ahead when it comes time for dinner. Grab your favorite beverage and get fired up!

Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs

Makes 4 servings

1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1½-inch chunks
1 large sweet onion, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares
1 medium green bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares

1. For the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until blended. Reserve and refrigerate 1/2 cup.

2. For the kebabs: Drop chicken into a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Pour over remaining marinade and shake until coated. Place bag in a bowl or pan and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours, occasionally turning and shaking.

3. Build a medium-hot charcoal or gas fire. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers, alternating with onion and bell pepper. Brush with reserved marinade.

4. Oil grill and cook over direct heat, about 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until chicken begins to color and is firm to the touch and vegetables are browned on edges. Remove and cut into a piece of chicken to ensure it is cooked through. Remove food from skewers and mound on a platter.

Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

1 English cucumber, unpeeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a serving bowl, toss together ingredients and refrigerate. Serve with kebabs.

Nutrition info (per serving): Chicken Kebabs with Cucumber Salad: CALORIES 359 (139 From Fat); FAT 16g (Sat. 7g); CHOL 188mg; SODIUM 777mg; CARB 14g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 40g

Hungry for More?
For more grilling inspiration and delicious food and beverages to savor, check out the seventh annual Minnesota Monthly GrillFest May 5 and 6 at CHS Field in St. Paul. Find more information here.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.