Sure, summer BBQs are fun, but let's be real: they can also be a huge mess. Thankfully, these spicy chicken skewers are pioneering a new wave of immaculate finger food. A mélange of cumin, turmeric, and paprika, the flavor-packed appetizer, dreamed up by chef Einat Admony of Combina, an Israeli-Spanish tapas restaurant in New York City, is a surefire crowd-pleaser, especially when coupled with creamy tahini sauce. Best of all, guests can sink their teeth into the perfect bite-sized morsel every time without lifting a finger. “They are so easy to eat!” says the chef. Read on for the full recipe.
Jerusalem Spiced Chicken Skewers with Green Tahini Sauce
Makes 8 skewers and 2 cups of tahini sauce
Active Time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
For the Chicken Skewers
1/2 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup ground turmeric
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tbsp black pepper
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
8 reusable wooden skewers (try Aheirloom, $12/2; aheirloom.com)
For the Green Tahini Sauce
1 cup tahini
1 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about two lemons)
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon peel
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1. Stir together cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Place the chicken, oil, and 1/4 cup of the mixed spices in a resealable plastic bag. Close the bag, shake well to coat, and chill for 1 hour.
3. Soak wooden skewers in water for 45 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce: Purée all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. With the processor on, pour in 1/2 cup water in a slow, steady stream until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving dish.
5. Lightly grease the cooking grate of your grill, and heat the grill to high (450˚F–550˚F).
6. Thread chicken onto skewers and grill covered, until charred, about 4 minutes. Turn skewers over and grill, covered, until done, about 4 minutes. Serve with the tahini sauce.