Chicken kebab skewers with jewelled bulgur wheat salad

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This yoghurt-marinated chicken kebab recipe is a simple, easy dish to put together. The beauty of a yoghurt marinade is two-fold – not only does the yoghurt help to tenderise the meat, it also creates a delicious crust when you come to cook it. The bulgur wheat is studded with pomegranate, dried fruit, pistachios, herbs and crispy onions for a fragrant and aromatic finish.

First published in 2019

Chicken kebabs are usually made with chicken breast or thighs, but drumstick fillets are better than both of them. The yoghurt marinade breaks down and tenderises the meat, giving it a beautiful texture when you eventually come to cook it. That combination of crispy yoghurt coating and soft chicken centre is exactly what we want from a kebab, and there's none of the risk of drying out that you get with chicken breast.

This dish is fantastic as is, but it also works very well when served with a variety of other plates as part of a larger spread. Increase the number of kebabs and serve the bulgur wheat separately if you like, and feel free to play around with the spices and herbs to customise the flavour to your own tastes.




Yoghurt marinade

Jewelled bulgur wheat salad


Combine all the ingredients for the yoghurt marinade (apart from the chicken) in a large bowl and stir together. Add the chicken and massage the marinade in with your hands, then leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours (or ideally overnight). We like to marinade everything in a resealable plastic bag, but you can simply cover the bowl with a sheet of clingfilm if preferred
The next day, prepare the bulgur wheat salad. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Sauté the bulgur wheat for a few minutes until it turns brown and nutty, then add 200ml of water to the pan along with a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then add the dried barberries and apricots. Cover with a lid and remove from the heat. Set aside for 10 minutes, by which time the bulgur wheat should have absorbed the water and become tender
Meanwhile, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan over a high heat. Add the sliced onion and cooked until crispy and golden (about 10 minutes), then drain on kitchen paper
Toss the bulgur wheat and dried fruit mixture with the lemon zest, pomegranate seeds, pistachios and chopped parsley, and keep warm in the pan until ready to serve
Preheat a grill to the highest setting. Take the chicken out of the marinade and thread onto skewers. Place on a grill pan under the grill and cook for about 5 minutes either side – you want the yoghurt to char and blister slightly, but keep an eye on it and don't let it burn too much. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked by cutting one of the pieces in half and ensuring the juices run clear
Place the warm bulgur wheat salad on a serving platter and top with the crispy onions, then finish with the chicken skewers and the mint and coriander leaves

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