Chicken Kebabs (Shish Kebabs)

Chicken Shish Kebabs (Şiş Kebap)                                                                  

The word “shish” or şiş as know in Turkish means skewer. As for the word Kebap or better known to Europeans as Kebabs, simply means roasted meat or vegetables. Legend has it that the Turkic (the historic national roots of the Turks.) soldiers used their swords to grill meat over an open fire during the invasion of Anatolia. (How true this is, I do not know, I am not a food historian, nor was I there at the time), but I like the story anyway.

Serves 6-8 people

Chicken Shish Kebabs

You will need;
1 kg of chicken breast (skinless). Diced into 3-4 cm cubes
6 colourful bell peppers, again diced into 3-4 cm cubes
Try buying a one or two extra as it is hard to judge how many you will need when assembling your peppers onto the skewers. Keep the extra’s away from the raw meat, and only chop them up if you need to.
Juice of 1 lemon
10 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chicken seasoning
Salt/black pepper optional (if you are going to use salt, try very little as the chicken seasoning is quite salty)
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
Packet of wooden skewers
A large mixing bowl
A rectangular bowl (or a dish that is the length of the skewers)

Take out a few skewers and put to one side, ready to use. You do not want to get raw meat juice over the unused skewers as you will need them for another barbecue, so only use the amount you think you may need. Some people soak their skewers before using them, but I find they burn anyway, and besides you are not going to eat the skewer, so to me it doesn’t matter. (Your choice!)

Have your diced peppers ready on a separate plate and put to one side.

Then mix the rest of the ingredients together. Give it a really good stir, making sure all the chicken is being covered with the seasoning and garlic.

Next start piercing your chicken and peppers onto the skewers. Try making a pattern say red pepper, chicken, yellow pepper, chicken, green pepper chicken etc. (try saying that fast!)

As each skewer is complete, place in your rectangular dish, until all your ingredients are used up. Cover with cling film or put the whole dish into a clean plastic bag, and place in the fridge to marinade, either over night or for a few hours before your guests arrive.

When your barbecue is ready, start cooking.  Each kebab should take around 6-7 minutes to cook. There is nothing worse than undercooked chicken so keep checking. If they need more then, carry on cooking whilst turning regularly.  Serve with pitta bread and salad.

I normally serve with a tomato salad.

Tip: If you have an extra fridge in your garage/shed, then now’s the time to use it. If you only have one fridge, then make sure you only have the party food to store in it. Leave the family shop till after the barbarque as your refrigerator is going to be very busy.