Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper* or 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
plus 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika, plus additional Aleppo pepper or
paprika for sprinkling
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt** (8 ounces)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
2 unpeeled lemons; 1 thinly sliced into rounds, 1 cut into wedges for
2 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken (thighs and/or breast
halves), cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
Special equipment: Flat metal skewers
If using Aleppo pepper, place in large bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon warm
water. Let stand until thick paste forms, about 5 minutes. If using dried
crushed red pepper and paprika combination, place in large bowl and stir in
2 tablespoons warm water and let stand until paste forms, about 5 minutes.
Add yogurt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons coarse
salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper to spice mixture in bowl; whisk to blend.
Stir in garlic and lemon slices, then chicken. Cover and chill at least 1
hour. Do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Thread chicken pieces on metal
skewers, dividing equally. Discard marinade in bowl. Sprinkle each skewer
with salt, pepper, and additional Aleppo pepper or paprika. Brush grill rack
with oil. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, turning
skewers occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer skewers to platter.
Surround with lemon wedges and serve.
*A slightly sweet Syrian pepper with a moderate heat level; available
at some specialty foods stores and from wholespice.com.
** A thick yogurt; sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods
stores (such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods markets) and Greek markets. If
unavailable, place regular yogurt in cheesecloth-lined strainer set over
large bowl. Cover and chill overnight to drain.
Aleppo pepper is sold finely ground or crushed into small flakes;
either one will work well in this recipe.