Lemon Moroccan Chicken Kebabs
Earlier this month my stepmother was in town for Mother’s Day. She had recently returned from Morocco and brought with her a recipe for chicken tagine. She even ordered a traditional tagine to cook it in, a sort of round conular clay pot that acts like a Dutch oven. The one ingredient that she brought with her that isn’t widely available is preserved lemons.
It was delicious and reminded me of a similar flavor profile from a Moroccan marinade. While I was searching for a Tandoori recipe to share, I happened upon this version of Moroccan lemon marinade and it conjured up such wonderful memories from the last time I made it, nearly a year ago, that I decided to share it with you here. Although I decided to use bell peppers and onions, you can also use anything grillable from your Full Circle order, including mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini and even eggplant. This marinade works well with a great variety of flavors.
- 2 lemons
- 6 cloves
- 2 1/8-inch-thick slices peeled fresh ginger
- 1 t dried marjoram
- 1 t ground coriander
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1/2 t ground turmeric
- 1/8 t ground cinnamon
- Pinch saffron threads
- 1 t light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 t kosher salt
- 2 t fresh ground black pepper
- 3 T olive oil
- To make the marinade, cut four deep slashes into the lemons, equally spaced. Place them in a microwavable container with garlic cloves. Cover and microwave for 4 minutes on high. This will mimic the flavor of preserved lemons and soften them. Strain the juice into a small container and let the lemon and garlic cool.
- When the lemons have cooled, scrape the pulp off with a spoon, discard and place the soft peels into a blender or food processor with the garlic, lemon juice and the rest of the ingredients. Puree to make a coarse, soft paste. Don't forget to set 2 tablespoons aside for the dipping sauce.
- 2 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, for a vegetarian version try eggplant cubes
- 3 spring onions or one large sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
- 2 T flat leafed Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
- 8-10 bamboo skewers, soaked to avoid burning
- Chop 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast (I used a mixture of both) into 2-inch portions. Place into a large, one gallon zip-top bag. Add in the marinade and massage to coat all the chicken. Set in the fridge to absorb the flavors for 1-2 hours.
- Remove chicken to a large bowl, leaving some marinade in bag. Place onions and peppers in bag, toss to coat. Thread chicken onto skewers, interspersing onion and peppers between chicken pieces. Grill directly over hot coals or on the hot side of a gas grill, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly charred and chicken is firm, then remove to cool side of grill. Repeat with all skewers.
- Mix remaining marinade with 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced.
- Serve with long grain white rice and dipping sauce.