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Chicken Shashlik
By Kitchen Queen   

Chicken ShashlikIf you grew up in Karachi in the 80s and 90s you have very likely come across Chicken Shashlik on menus of your favorite neighborhood restaurants like Spinzer, or have wondered about its origin. This is one of those hybrid recipes that evolve in a culture over time. Growing up, I was never sure if Shashlik was Chinese, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern. Surprisingly, on Wikipedia this is listed as a Russian street food of Turkic origin. Whatever the origin, I remember salivating over sizzling platters of this appetizing dish and eating it with relish.

Below I am sharing my favorite Chicken Shashlik recipe that I have tweaked to personal taste (and for health). The recipe can also be made with beef or lamb based on your preference. Increase cooking time if using red meat.

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast or thigh – 2 lbs, boneless
  • Bell peppers (capsicums) – 2 large
  • Onions (Spanish) – 2 medium
  • Tomatoes – 2 medium
  • Lemon juice – ¼ cup
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Black pepper – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 1 tbsp, crushed
  • Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Hot sauce (Asian-style) – 1 tbsp
  • Cooking oil

Special Utensils

  • Bamboo skewers

Preparation

  1. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Marinate with lemon juice, salt, black pepper, garlic, soy and hot sauce, coat thoroughly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  4. Immerse bamboo skewers in ice water and let stand.
  5. Cut the onion, capsicum, and tomatoes into small cubes.
  6. Thread chicken and vegetables closely on bamboo skewers. Use two skewers (slightly apart) if needed.
  7. Heat up oil in a large skillet brown the meat on both sides (5-8 minutes).
  8. Blot out excess oil and add the skewers on a prepared cookie sheet.
  9. Grill in preheated oven (425 degrees F) for 15 minutes on each side, or cook on the outdoor grill.
  10. Decorate with lemon pieces and mint leaves.
  11. Serve with steamed rice or pita.

Marinating Time: 4-6 hours

Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Serves: 4

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