Greek Chicken Kabobs

Greek Chicken Kabobs

For the last two years, any time I’ve shot photos for blog posts I’ve done so by occupying this little 4 foot by 2-1/2 foot corner in the kitchen. It is wedged between the door to our garage, the side of a kitchen cabinet and the sliding glass door to the back yard. Other than completely blocking anyone access to the garage (or access to the house from the garage), the spot was perfect because it had good light between the hours of 8am and 3pm virtually all year ‘round, and it was conveniently located in the kitchen.

But then I started shooting videos. And oh did I learn so much! Natural light for photography is one thing — a beautiful thing - but you start shooting videos and suddenly you notice how the tiniest cloud can render one scene completely blueish. (EX: You can watch the colors of the background on this sheet pan fajitas video change throughout the whole scene. Yikes!).

So I dove in an purchased a set of “YouTuber” lights. So far I’m still learning how to use the ones I purchased (affiliate link). The light from the bulbs that came with them are a little pinker than I expected. BUT owning lights has opened up a whole new world for me — a world where I can shoot recipes outside of the hours of 9am and 3pm! And since I’m usually at work from 9-5pm, this is a BIG FREAKIN’ DEAL.

Remember that tiny corner of the kitchen I mentioned? Yes well, me and my three lights don’t fit there. At least, not with a plate of food, too. So, a few weeks ago, I made it my mission to take over our under-used office/spare bedroom and turn it into a studio. (!!!)

With the walls painted with a fresh coat of white and the closet rearranged to accommodate my photography gear, these Greek Chicken Kabobs were one of the first dishes to “test run” the new studio. All of this has given me a whole new level of motivation for house projects (I was running out of steam).

And now you’re thinking, OKAY WE GET IT but what about the kabobs? Let’s do it:

Greek Chicken Kabobs
Greek Chicken Kabobs

There are two ways to cook this mix of chicken and veggies in a lemon-oregano marinade: grilled, or baked.

Grilled, string everything onto skewers for kabobs. Roast on high until the juices run clear — about 12 minutes total, 6 on each side. You’ll get that fire-touched smokey flavor on the chicken and the onions and the tomatoes. This option is wonderful in the middle of summer, when you are out exploring (camping, at a park, at a potluck, etc), or when you just want to avoid turning on the oven.

Baked, you can skip the skewers and spread everything out on a sheet pan. Roast it all at 450°F for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. On a sheet pan, the juices from the tomatoes, mushrooms, and chicken swirl together in the pan, creating a flavorful pan sauce. It makes the dish juicy which is delicious over rice. This version is best for weeknights or wintertime — when lighting the grill (or even going outside) is off the table.

In both versions, the chicken turns out super tender, thanks to the lemony marinade. That same marinade is what gives the whole dish it’s Greek-inspired flavor. They are a little spot of sunshine in the middle of a wintery week, but also perfect for summer grilling season (once that finally arrives!).

Greek Chicken Kabobs

Published January 29, 2018 by
   Print This Recipe

Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

For the chicken:
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound chicken breast, cubed

  • For the kabobs:
  • 1 red onion, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup mushrooms (crimini, baby bella, or white)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoons minced parsley

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate the chicken: in an airtight container, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and salt. Add chicken, and stir to combine. Close container and place in fridge for at least 4 hours (up to 24).
    2. For grilling: Light and preheat grill to high.
    3. For oven: Preheat oven to 450°F.
    4. Place chopped veggies and olives in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and stir so everything is coated.
    5. Assemble kabobs: Working with one kabob stick at a time, skewer chicken, vegetables and olives in an alternating pattern. (If you plan to roast in the oven, you can skip this step, and simply spread everything out on a sheet pan).
    6. For grilling: Place kabobs on preheated grill and reduce heat to medium-high. Grill, with the lid closed, for 6 minutes, and then turn kabobs and grill on second side for another 6 minutes. Juices should run clear and chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from grill and serve hot over a bed of rice. Garnish with parsley. For oven: Place sheet pan in pre-heated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from oven and use a spatula to serve over rice. Spoon juices from pan over top. Garnish with parsley.

    Comment

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    It started with a business trip to Texas in 2016. It was my first real business trip. My co-worker (Libby, who is somewhat of an aviation food connoisseur) asked if I wanted to stop by Root Down, a restaurant in the terminal. We got sweet potato fries with curry sauce and I realized that whatever I had previously thought about airport food was wrong. (Fruit cups, low fat yogurt, and granola bars? Move aside!)

    Fast forward to 2017: I’m traveling to Ecuador for a client. I had been on a few business trips since that one to Texas, but none as cool as this one — Ecuador! South America! Hadn’t I graduated with a Spanish Degree just for this?! Going into Marketing I had pretty much thought those international opportunities were behind me. Anyhow, I was on my own, so the world was my oyster and the schedule was whatever I said it was. Which means there was time to stop at Root Down, and breakfast was in order. I sat at a table for one with a view of the tarmac and ordered tacos. In that moment I felt awkward by myself, and took solace in those tacos, taking my sweet time. Each taco was small — made on a 4-inch tortilla - and stuffed with greasy chorizo and fluffy scrambled eggs.

    My next encounter with those tacos was this August. It was 6am as we rode the bus to the airport, and by the time we made it to security our stomachs rumbled for breakfast. It was Oliver’s idea, that day, to stop at Root Down but of course I didn’t protest. We both ordered the tacos and coffee and finally, digging into our breakfast, we were on vacation.

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    This taco recipe is my home rendition: chorizo crumbles, scrambled eggs, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, and queso fresco. I replaced the pickled red onions with minced fresh red onions that star on Root Down’s menu, because at home it’s easier (and I like the fresh flavor). And added avocado, because we weren’t going to make tacos without avocado.

    When you make these, it might be easier to just cook up an entire pound of chorizo versus the exact amount you need. It will store well in your fridge, and can go into future meals (great in soups!) or make it easier for you to get breakfast going tomorrow. You could also plan to serve a crowd: make a breakfast taco bar!

    Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but these tacos for breakfast feel a bit like a vacation. Enjoy!

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    Published November 8, 2018 by
       Print This Recipe

    Yield: 3   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 6 six-inch corn tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chorizo crumbles, cooked and heated
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • Optional: hot sauce of choice, to taste
  • Optional, for serving: lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Prep your ingredients first in this recipe, as once the eggs are cooked, you’ll want to immediately start assembling your tacos. So, dice that tomato, slice the avocado, and mince the cilantro and red onion now. Reheat or cook the chorizo.
    2. Warm the tortillas. There are plenty of ways you can get this done: place them in a preheated oven for a few minutes, warm them in a toaster oven, or heat them in a dry skillet. Whatever you do, watch them closely so as to avoid burning them or drying them out too much. Just a few minutes will do.
    3. Now, crack eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper and whisk until they are a creamy yellow color and slightly frothy.
    4. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a 10-inch skillet. When oil sizzles, pour in eggs. As eggs begin to set (it will take a minute or two), use a wooden spatula, to pull the eggs across the pan, stirring them. Continue until no visible liquid egg white remains, and then move the pan off the heat. (Tip: If there are other things to do or prepare, I sometimes will pull the pan from the heat a little bit early, say 30 seconds, to avoid over cooked eggs. They will continue to cook in the pan until you serve them.)
    5. Assemble tacos: take tortillas out of the toaster, and top each with a heaping tablespoonful of chorizo. Divide egg mixture evenly amongst tortillas, and then top each with diced tomato, a slice of avocado, queso fresco, minced red onion, and cilantro.
    6. Serve hot with hot sauce on the side, and lime wedges if using.

    Comment

    Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

    Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

    “Disaster” is not the right word for how poorly my chile rellenos con queso turned out, but it didn’t go well. I harvested six Big Jim peppers from the garden and stuffed them with corn, onions and cheese. They got battered and tossed into a pan to deep fry. Sounds good so far, right?

    The problem is with what comes next — how I never learn my lesson with frying. With frying, you can’t skimp by using just one inch of oil in a skillet. You have to go all out. You have to commit to a full pot of blazing hot oil which you’ll likely have to toss afterwards. Otherwise, whatever you were frying will touch the bottom of the pan and stick (Yes, even to that ceramic-enamel “non stick” pan you have… Trust me, I would know).

    The results is typically a pile of whatever you were frying (i.e., peppers) and several hunks of fried batter stuck to the bottom of the pan. I usually try to scrape that batter up. By this time it has turned brown, crispy and greasy. And that will be that: a pile of peppers, and a pile of fried batter bits. It’s delicious, so I suppose it’s not a complete failure. It just isn’t what it’s supposed to be.

    Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers
    Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

    This recipe for stuffed poblanos avoids that conundrum all together. The peppers aren’t even battered, which might initially seem like a disappointment until it’s Thursday at 5:30pm and you’re the one cooking dinner. One less dish, no sputtering pot of oil, and hey — maybe your arteries will thank you, too. 😉

    Stuffed with chorizo, corn, and black beans, these peppers feel like harvest. Whether you make your own enchilada sauce or not, the dish comes out of the oven looking vibrant and artisan, even after you pile on the grated pepper jack. That’s what I call success!

    Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

    Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

    Published September 27, 2018 by
       Print This Recipe

    Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 60 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 8 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 pound ground chorizo
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen and thawed or fresh)
  • 1 16-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

  • Directions:

    1. Before you begin: Whenever you are cooking with peppers or chilies, remember that their oils will stay on your fingers. Avoid touching your face (an especially your eyes!) until you are done cooking and have thoroughly washed your hands with soap and water. (Some choose to wear gloves while working with chilies. I find poblanos are not so hot that I need this — but do whatever is best for you.)
    2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
    3. Brown the meat: heat a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring to brown all sides and breaking into small crumbles with a spatula. Add the garlic while the meat is cooking.
    4. Once the meat is browned, add the corn and black beans to the pan. Stir so everything is evenly distributed. Turn off heat.
    5. Prepare peppers: cut a vertical slice down each pepper, from the stem to the tip. Near the top of each pepper, cut a 2-3 inch horizontal slice, creating a T-shape. If you would like, use a paring knife to remove the seeds and white pith from the pepper now. This will help tone down the spice of the pepper. We leave them in.
    6. Prepare your baking dish: spread the enchilada sauce in an even layer on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    7. Stuff the peppers: gently stuff the chorizo mixture into each pepper, and then place the peppers in the baking dish. Be careful, the mixture may still be hot! If so, let it cool down so you can handle it with out burning yourself.
    8. Bake for 35 minutes, and then top with shredded cheese. Bake for 5 minutes more and then remove from oven and serve hot.

    2 Comments