Kebabs are party fare: they are versatile, fun, and easy to eat out of hand. You can keep them simple, or make them elaborate. You can choose poultry, meat, fish or seafood, or veggies or a combination. You can marinate them in flavorful potions or serve sauces alongside inspired by cuisines across the world. And you can pile them high on a platter and invite guests to choose their favorites.
Here is one of my favorites, inspired by a recipe from my dear friend Maria Helm Sinskey, in her fabulous cookbook Family Meals. I’ve been making this recipe for many years and have adapted it over time, but the basics are the same: bite-sized pieces of chicken are bathed in a tangy yogurt-herb marinade (I add plenty of lemon to mine) until they are succulent. Threaded onto skewers with summer vegetables, in this case, cherry tomatoes and discs of zucchini, they are grilled until sizzling golden brown. The marinade keeps them flavorful and juicy, but be sure you don’t overcook them.
Serve these with warm whole wheat pita bread or naan, and an array of colorful summer salads.
Recipe: Yogurt and Herb-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini
Makes 8 to 10 skewers
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt (not Greek)
- Zest and juice of 1 large Meyer lemon
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup minced fresh herbs such as cilantro, mint, and dill
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
- About 18 cherry tomatoes
- In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, green onions, herbs, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
- Soak 8 to 10 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Prepare a charcoal grill for direct heat grilling over medium coals.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting as much drip back into the bowl as possible, and thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating with the zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
- Brush the cooking grate of the grill clean, then oil the grate. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned nicely, 8–10 minutes. Serve right away.