SPICY CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH COOL CUCUMBER YOGURT
COOL CUCUMBER YOGURT:
½ English cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1 cup (250 ml) plain Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) white wine vinegar
½ tsp (2 ml) sea salt
½ tsp (2 ml) ground cumin
½ lemon, zest and juice
2 thick slices sourdough bread
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
¼ tsp (1 ml) sumac powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 lb (500 g) each
1 large red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 large yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 ml) smoked hot paprika
¼ tsp (1 ml) sea salt
8 wooden 8-in (20 cm) skewers, soaked
1 x 8-in (20 cm) large zucchini, shaved lengthwise into 16 ribbons
extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
fresh lime juice, optional, to finish
1 head Bibb or curly leaf lettuce
½ cup (125 ml) lightly packed mint
½ cup (125 ml) lightly packed cilantro
¼ cup (60 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley
- Prepare COOL CUCUMBER YOGURT ahead of time: Grate unpeeled, seeded cucumber and place in a sieve over a bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
- In a bowl, combine remaining Cool Cucumber Yogurt ingredients and stir together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Combine reserved drained cucumber and yogurt mixture and fold together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For CROUTONS: Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Brush bread with 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil on both sides. Dust with sumac powder, salt and pepper. Cut bread into 1-in (2.5 cm) cubes. Spread on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Stir often. Remove and cool. Leave oven temperature at 400 F (200 C).
- Cut chicken into about 16 x 1-in (2.5 cm) chunks. Cut each bell pepper into 12 x 1-in (2.5 cm) chunks. Place chicken and peppers in large bowl and toss with 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and lime juice.
- In a small bowl, combine cumin, paprika and salt and stir together. Sprinkle over chicken and peppers and toss lightly to coat.
- Spread out on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or just until chicken chunks are almost cooked through. Stir a couple of times. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, make SALAD: Separate lettuce into leaves, wash and blot dry. Place a couple leaves on each serving plate and scatter bread cubes over top along with mint, cilantro and parsley, reserving some herbs for top.
- When chicken is cool enough to handle, thread each soaked wooden skewer with 2 pieces of chicken, 2 ribbons of zucchini and 3 chunks of pepper, alternating ingredients. Lay skewers a in single layer on baking sheet and return to oven for 3 to 5 more minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables are done but still crisp.
- Place a couple chicken skewers on top of each salad plate and season with salt, scattering remaining fresh herbs over top. Drizzle with a splash of olive oil and a little more fresh lime juice if desired. Serve with Cool Cucumber Yogurt.