Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yogurt-marinated Chicken Kebabs with Israeli Couscous

I was so thrilled with a recent weeknight dinner that I had to share it with you as soon as possible. It definitely exceeded our expectations in terms of taste and ease, and for an added benefit, it's healthy! Work was keeping me late, so A proceeded to prepare dinner for us. Using the whole garam masala from the Spice House, he used my new granite mortar and pestle that I received as a Christmas gift from my in-laws.

I've grown weary of grilling boneless, skinless chicken breasts given their tendency to get dried out and rubbery. Thankfully, the yogurt marinade yielded moist and tender chicken breast pieces. The blend of spices in the marinade was mouth-watering and really whet our appetite in anticipation of dinner. The grilled chicken and peppers were grilled to perfection and delicious on its own. When I dipped the chicken into the yogurt-based feta sauce, there was a party in my mouth. I strongly urge you to make this asap. It would be great with red onions or tomatoes as an addition or alternative to the pepper. For a vegetarian option, I could see this being great with paneer.

Yogurt-marinated Chicken Kebabs with Israeli Couscous
adapted from Sunset

 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces
2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces
1 1/2 c Israeli couscous
2 tsp olive oil
Six skewers

    1 c plain yogurt
    2 tsp garam masala
    1 tsp Madras curry powder
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 c plain yogurt
    1/3 c crumbled feta cheese
    3 tbsp minced red onion
    1 tsp finely shredded fresh lemon zest
    2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided

1. Combine 1 cup yogurt, garam masala, curry powder, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and thoroughly coat. Let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature. (If using wooden skewers, soak in water while chicken marinates.)
2. In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/2 cup yogurt, the feta, onion, lemon zest, and 1 tbsp. parsley, set aside.
3. Prepare couscous according to package instructions. Add olive oil and cover to keep warm.
4. Pierce the chicken and bell pepper onto skewers and discard marinade. Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill kebabs, turning once, until chicken is browned and cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 10 minutes. Pile couscous on a platter, sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. parsley, and arrange kebabs around it. Serve with yogurt-feta sauce.

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