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
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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.

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    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    In the kitchen, there is the sound of a ticking clock. From the open sliding door on my right, the leaves rustling in the breeze. The high today is seventy-one degrees. The last time I could say that was probably early April, and it feels like a treat. 

    We had no idea what to expect when we arrived in McCall. Boise is surrounded by golden dry hills, the city itself an sprawl of big box department stores. But the further north you go the more trees you find, and the grasses begin to turn green. As you coast down the road into McCall's center you spot Lake Payette, like a gem in the rough. 

    Here, I'm going to be soaking up the cooler weather -- currently drinking orange cinnamon tea - but back home, I'm still defaulting to no-cook, no-bake, minimal effort meals, like this Chickpea Antipasto Salad. 

    This dish is a bit like pasta salad, minus the pasta, and all you do is mix. That's right: skip the oven, skip the stove, and even skip dishes -- it's a one-bowl wonder. 

    Antipasto pasta salad is a picnic classic, with olives, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and cheese. But I wanted to make a version that didn’t use pasta. Something gluten-free with more nutrients per bite. Chickpeas are the perfect option here — they have a starchy quality that makes them a good filler, though they are also filling, more so than pasta, and in a good way. So there you have it, a way to fill those pasta salad cravings when you don’t want to fill your stomach with pasta.

    You can make this salad ahead of time and chill it. Served over a few fresh lettuce leaves, it makes for a great make-ahead lunch in the middle of summer! Or, put everything in a large serving dish and tote your chickpea antipasto salad along to a potluck.

    Chickpea Antipasto Salad
    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    Chickpea Antipasto Salad

    Published August 23, 2018 by
       Print This Recipe

    Serves: 4-6   |    Active Time: 10 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 sixteen-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives, pitted and drained
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • Optional: serve over a bed of butterhead lettuce

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
    2. Serve immediately, or make a day ahead of time, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    3. Optionally, serve over a bed of butterhead lettuce leaves.

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    Nut-Free Paleo Pizza, 2 ways

    My freshman year of college my dorm mates and I spent one Halloween night standing in line at the neighborhood's hottest slicery for an hour before getting to place our orders. This particular pizzeria was not even that good, just your standard greasy quick-service college locale. But after standing in line and then waiting patiently for the kitchen to get to my order (surrounded, the entire time of course, by the smell of melted cheese and toasted garlic),  that slice of pizza was the one of the best slices of pizza I'd ever had. The most memorable, at the very least. (Side note: I just checked to see if slicery was a word. It's not. But apparently Sabrina the Teenage Witch used it, and since I watched that show religiously in the nineties, I'm sticking with it). 

    I'm generally all for focusing on what you can eat when following a whole food lifestyle, not what you can't. I'm too busy scouring the produce isle to even miss the stuff in the other isles of the grocery store (except for the bulk section -- I really like the bulk section). Every once in a while though, I get these ideas that I can't shake. Like BBQ chicken pizza, with cilantro and red onions. Like caramelized leeks with bacon. On pizza. And add some artichokes because those never hurt. 

    Once something like that pops into my head, there's really no shaking it. I stood in line for an hour for pizza once, I'll take the challenge now. In fact, it'll take that challenge, and raise you one: a Paleo pizza crust that actually holds it's shape (no cauliflower) and contains no nuts

    Why no nuts? I really like nuts. All the time. But after throwing down a good number of Costco-sized bags of almonds and pistachios, I felt nutted-out. Not in that I don't want to eat anymore nuts sort of way, but in that Ugh, eating this many nuts can't be healthy sort of way. Adding nuts to my dinner was the last thing I needed. 

    So what did I use to delivery the caramelized leeks and bacon and BBQ chicken to my plate and eventually my mouth? Green plantains. While this recipes doesn't really make a "dough," (the result is more of a batter), the resulting crust is is thin and bready but sturdy enough to hold all of your toppings up. And totally nut free. Ding! 

    Next time I'll make twice as much. This batch made 2 personal-sized pizzas, so we had no leftovers and I couldn't test how the the crust faired in a "leftover pizza for breakfast" situation. 

    See? It's all about what you can have. And pizza, this pizza, is in. 

    For the Pizza Crust:

    1 green plantain

    1 garlic clove

    1 egg

    2 tablespoons coconut flour

    1/2 cup coconut milk

    Pinch salt

    Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Toppings and sauces of choice (my BBQ Chicken and Caramelized Leek and Bacon combos are below)

     

    1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

    2. Blend all of the crust ingredient together. I used a blender, you could also try mashing it all together with a fork. The batter should be thick, with no clumps. Use a spatula to spread the batter out on a piece of parchment or baking mat (such as a sil-pat). Spread the batter out in a circle, in a 1/4-inch layer. Make it as even as possible to ensure even cooking. 

    3. Place the crust in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until you can lift up the edge of the crust and see that the bottom is browning. Remove the crusts from the oven and (carefully--it's hot!) add your toppings of choice.

    4. Return the pizza back to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, until your toppings are warm, and your cheese--if you choose to use it- is gooey. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, slice and serve! 

     

    For the BBQ Chicken Pizza:

    1 crust

    1 cup shredded chicken

    1/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (more or less depending on your tastes)

    1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions

    2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

    1/2 cup grass-fed cheddar cheese, grated (if you tolerate dairy)

     

    Spread a layer of sauce on the crust. Top with shredded chicken. 

    Sprinkle with cheese, and top with red onions. 

    Return pizza to the oven for 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat and sprinkle with cilantro.

     

    For the Caramelized Leek and Bacon Pizza

    1 pizza crust

    1 medium leek, white only, wash & sliced thin

    1 tablespoon coconut oil

    Drizzle extra virgin olive oil

    2 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

    1/2 cup grass-fed cheddar cheese, grated (if you tolerate dairy)

    1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, canned

     

    Sautee in the leeks in a skillet with the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Stir them occasionally, allowing them to turn golden. They will begin to caramelize after 10-15 minutes. Once they are soft and golden all around, remove them from heat. 

    Drizzle olive oil over crust and spread with a spatula. You don't need much, but it enhances the flavor. 

    Spread the cooked leeks over the crust, and top with bacon. Sprinkle cheese over pizza, and distribute the artichokes evenly around the pizza. 

    Return the pizza to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until toppings are heated or cheese is gooey. 

    Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, slice and serve! 

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