Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

May 13, 2011

peruvian chicken kebabs + tzatziki.

I cannot believe two days ago I was on Rutgers soil, and now, I am at home. For three and a half months. Leaving was bittersweet; everyone wanted to be with everyone else for the whole summer, but they also wanted summer vacation to come because that would be mean the end of a period of no sleep, emotional eating, and immense stress about finals.

I got the last of my final grades back today, and I am quite ecstatic. For a crazy second I thought summer classes might be a very real necessity but alas, I need to relaxeth. Allth will be fyne with mine life, especially now that I can partaketh in consumption of victuals, mostly for mine pleasure.

I came home to a cookbook from the library on the counter, a most unusual sight because my mom has no need for cookbooks. She is an accomplished cook as it is. But this cookbook was for my grandma; it is called, "The Essential Diabetes Cookbook," and upon flipping through it, I kind of really enjoy the recipes it has.

Peruvian Chicken Kebabs particularly caught my eye,
for two reasons (in descending order of interest):

1) Gorgeous picture & availability of ingredients.
2) PERU. I have a good friend in Peru right now (She was not raised or born in Peru. She is actually as Peruvian as I am Egyptian ... aka - no background whatsoever.) Since she has gone to Peru, anything Peruvian has caught my eye.

I wonder what makes this recipe Peruvian, or if it really is Peruvian. I hope it is. Regardless, it is absolutely delicious. It features chicken breast & thighs cut into cubes and marinated with a paste made of ample garlic, citrus, & spices.

The paste stains the chicken a dark reddish orange, and when grilled, there appear black grill marks.

Look at dem crispy tips. I can't, I can't even.

Kebabs remind me of Greek Souvlaki, so I made a tzatziki sauce (my favorite sauce) really quickly from my experiences of eating it and bought some whole wheat pita bread while I was picking up some other stuff from the grocery store. I spread a generous amount of tzatziki & some homemade tomato jam into the pocket of a pita, and then scooped off some chicken from a skewer to stuff, with some chopped Vidalia onions. I probably killed any Peruvian-ness that this dish embodied, but the outcome was mind-blowingly delicious. "Mind-blowingly" is so extreme .. I need better adjectives to describe things I love a lot.

Anyway, here's the recipe. Be prepared for the easiest, tastiest meal ever. Oh yeah, and my friend will confirm the extent to which these kabobs are Peruvian.

Peruvian Chicken Kabobs
(adapted from The Essential Diabetes Cookbook)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn EACH ground cumin, ground coriander, & paprika (or red turmeric powder for those of you that have it. that's what i used, it was ticklingly spicy)
  • 2 Tb cilantro leaves, washed; don't need to chop
  • juice and zest of a lime
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (i used an enormous chicken breast and cut off the meat of 2 thigh pieces from the bone)
  1. In a mini food processor, blend garlic and salt. Add the remaining spices, juice, zest, and cilantro leaves.
  2. Mix the chicken well with the paste. Allow to marinate for a couple of hours, or at least 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare the grill or a grill pan over the stovetop. Thread skewers that have been presoaked in water with the chicken, about 3 - 4 pieces per skewer. Spray the kabobs with olive or canola oil and grill. They should cook fairly quickly, taking no more than 10-15 minutes.
  4. Eat alone, with a salad, in a tortilla, with some salsa, or as I did, in pita with tzatziki.

my own recipe - adjust according to your preferences.
  • about 1 cup Greek yogurt OR yogurt that has been strained to a thicker consistency
  • a small cucumber
  • 3-4 mint leaves
  • salt & pepper
  1. Put the yogurt in a serving dish.
  2. Grate the cucumber medium-finely. Quickly squeeze out any excess moisture in the shredded cucumber to prevent the sauce from becoming too watery.
  3. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt.
  4. Finely chiffonade (or chop) the mint and stir into the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!

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