Sunday, November 18, 2012

Turkish Chicken Skewers

Serves 2-3 (0.5 pounds chicken/person)
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 3 mm rounds
  • 6 garlic cloves, cut in half, smashed with flat end of chef's knife
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (if you didn't have it, you could probably use ketchup--don't tell anyone)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5-2 pounds chicken, thighs preferably, as they take the marinade better. Cube into 1.25" squares, roughly
Equipment: 6 chicken skewers

If short on marinade time, pre-heat oven to broil. 

Add pepper flakes, paprika and water to a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes to form a paste. Add in all remaining marinade ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chicken, and let sit as long as you can. I have done this as little as 1/2 an hour, and as long as 2 hours. More would probably be good, but still good as is. 

Once chicken is marinated, slide chicken onto skewers. Be careful not to skewer your fingers. *IMPORTANT* Between each piece of chicken add 1 slide off lemon to the skewer. The lemon slices will char, and slightly caramelize during the broiling, and provide an amazing condiment to the chicken. Once all chicken is out, fish out the garlic chunks, and wedge them in between the chicken and lemon slices. 

Place on a broiling pan on the highest rack in the oven. Broil 5-6 minutes on each side. 

Serve immediately. 

Red Lentil Dal

Serves 4

Adapted from "Indian Regional Classics." We love this dal. Most dal at U.S. Indian restaurants is made with brown lentils, and just doesn't get the wonderful creamy texture this gets as a result. There is a very slight kick from the turmeric, but if you wanted more you could add some cayenne or other red pepper. But try it as-is first.

  • 1 1/4 c. red lentils
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tbsp butter (or ghee)
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thickly chopped
  • kosher salt to taste
Bring the lentils, turmeric and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes or until a pea soup texture is achieved. Stir occasionally. Cook longer if needed, add water if needed.

While lentils are simmering, make ghee. Bring a very small (8" or so) frying pan to medium-high. Add cumin seeds and toast, swirling the seeds occasionally to prevent burning. You'll know their done when they start to smell toasty-cuminy, and are several shades darker. Add the 4 Tbsp butter or ghee. Melt, and when foaming subsides, add garlic. Saute garlic until fragrant, and turning slightly golden (a few minutes). 

Add butter/ghee to the lentils, and mix in thoroughly. Add kosher salt to taste.