Shish Taouk ( Lebanese Chicken Kebabs) with Baba Ghannouj (Eggplant Dip)
Ingredients (Makes 5 skewers)
1. Skinless, boneless chicken breast – Around 350 gm, cut into medium cubes (I used 4 chicken breast tenders)
2. Garlic – 3 – 4 cloves, crushed or ground to a paste
Lemon juice – 1 – 1.5 tbsp
Tomato paste – 2 tsp
Dried thyme / Italian herbs – 1 – 1.5 tsp
Pepper powder – 1 – 1.5 tsp
All spice – 1/4 tsp (Optional)
Salt – To taste
3. Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp
4. Button mushroom – 8 – 10, sliced into halves
5. Bell pepper – 1/2 medium , diced
1. Combine the ingredients numbered 2. Taste-check for salt. Add the chicken cubes and mix everything well. Keep it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 5 hrs.
2. Soak the wooden skewers for 30 mts – 1 hr. Mix the mushroom halves and diced bell peppers with olive oil, italian herbs/dried thyme, lemon juice and enough salt. Keep aside for at least 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Arrange the chicken, mushroom and bell pepper on the skewers and place them on a baking tray. Grill/Bake for 15 – 17 mts or until the chicken is done. Avoid over-baking as the chicken might get dry. It is traditionally served with a garlic dip (Toum ). We had it with baba ghanouj ( eggplant dip) and they both were a wonderful combo. Here’s the recipe for Baba Ghannouj.
Baba Ghannouj (Eggplant Dip)
1. Eggplant – 1 large
2. Tahini (sesame seed paste) – 1.5 tbsp
Lemon juice – 2 – 3 tsp or to taste
Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed
Salt – To taste
3. Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
4. Parsley – 1 tsp chopped, to garnish
Roast the eggplant directly on the burner of a gas stove over medium heat, turning often, until the skin is completely blackened and the flesh is soft, about 10 minutes. Or place the egg plant on a baking tray (rub little olive oil on the eggplant and prick its skin at a couple of places with a fork). Bake at 500 F for 20 mts. Cool down for 5 – 10 minutes and peel off the skin. Scoop out the flesh and remove the seeds. Allow to cool completely. Grind the flesh along with tahini, lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt to a smooth or coarse mixture. Or you can use a fork to mash them instead. Transfer to a small bowl. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle chopped parsley. Serve chilled.