Larry Crowe, Associated Press
Middle Eastern Chicken Skewers

For incredibly flavorful grilled chicken skewers with minimal effort, this wet rub of olive oil and Middle Eastern spices turns basic poultry into something spectacular.

This seasoning blend produces deep, savory flavors. If you prefer a bit of heat with your meat, add a dash of cayenne. Small vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes or baby onions, also could be added to the skewers.

For a smokier flavor, toast the spices before using them. Place all of the seasonings, including the salt, in a dry skillet over low heat. Heat, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until aromatic. Cool and proceed with the recipe.

Because the spices and chicken are combined in a plastic bag, this recipe produces little mess. This also can be done in a bowl, but you will need to use your hands to slather the chicken with the rub to ensure it is well coated.

This recipe also can be adapted for whole chicken breasts, which will require longer cooking at a lower temperature. Leftovers would make an excellent chicken salad.


Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 main, 6 to 8 starters

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon group coriander

1/2 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders

2 tablespoons olive oil

Place bamboo skewers in a shallow bowl of water.

In a large zip-close plastic bag, combine the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, mustard powder and salt. Close the bag and shake to blend the seasonings. Set aside.

Place the chicken in the bag of spices, then add the olive oil. Close the bag, gently pressing out any air. Gently knead the chicken, working the seasonings and oil so it thoroughly coats all of the chicken.

Coat grill grates with oil or high-heat cooking spray. Preheat the grill on high.

Carefully place a chicken tender on each skewer. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until the meat reaches at least 165 F on an instant-read thermometer. Serve immediately.