Recipe of the week: Spiced Persian chicken skewers
The 5 o’clock Apron blogger and chef Claire Thomson’s latest cookbook, New Kitchen Basics, aims to free us of our mindlessly relied-upon staples, and zhuzh them up without increasing the difficulty, and without asking you to track down out of the norm ingredients.
“If you pare back to using good quality ingredients and cook them with the knowledge of how they perform, food’s really easy,” she said.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
100g Greek yoghurt
2 pinches of saffron strands
½tsp ground cinnamon
¼ nutmeg, grated
3 green cardamom pods, seeds finely ground
Pinch of chilli flakes, or to taste
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1tsp salt, plus extra to season
About 800g skinless boneless chicken (thighs are best) cut into 4cm dice
1tsp sumac, or a good squeeze of lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
You’ll need four metal or wooden skewers (soaked in water, if wooden, to stop them burning).
1 In a food processor or blender, blend the onion with the yoghurt, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, chilli, garlic and salt to create a marinade.
2 Put the diced chicken in a large mixing bowl, add the marinade and give it a good stir to ensure all of the chicken is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for two to four hours to marinate.
3 Preheat the grill to medium-high and line a baking sheet with foil.
4 Thread the chicken onto skewers and cook under the hot grill for about 10 minutes, turning the skewers midway to ensure the chicken cooks evenly, until cooked through and lightly charred all over.
5 Remove from the grill and onto a serving plate, sprinkling with sumac or lemon juice.
Serve with warm flatbreads or rice with seasoned yoghurt.
“A chopped salad is also good here – by which I mean whatever vegetables are looking happiest and heartiest,” said Claire. “Tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion with plenty of parsley and mint, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon is a winning combination.”