It’s hard to find a simpler recipe that ranks as high in the taste department as this one.   Either place the meat in the yogurt mixture  an hour before cooking, or do as I did, and prepare it in the morning for a stress-free dinner later.   A yogurt-based marinade with the right spices  does wonders for chicken and pork, as this dish deliciously confirms.

A friend pointed me to this recipe, one of her favorites of 2009.  It’s  from Steven Raichlen,  in Bon Appetit. You can read about it here.


(adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2009)

1 1/2 Tbs Aleppo pepper
1 cup yogurt
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 lemon, unpeeled, thinly sliced
2.5  pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in large cubes
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before using

Place the Aleppo pepper in a bowl an add 1 Tbs of warm water, letting it stand for a few minutes to form a paste.  Add the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, tomato paste, salt and pepper, whisking to blend.  Stir in the garlic and lemon slices, add the chicken and mix enough to coat all the pieces.  Leave the chicken in the fridge at least an hour, up to overnight.

Thread the chicken pieces onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers, sprinkle with salt, and grill until golden brown, turning once.  For chicken breasts, about 8 to 10 minutes total.

Serve with lemon wedges.


to print the recipe, click here

(receita em portugues na pagina seguinte)

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Comments: In the US, chicken breasts  win the popularity contest, but I prefer the dark meat, because it has more flavor and never dries out.   But, every now and then I stumble on a recipe, such as these kebabs,  that handles the delicate white meat just right .   Aleppo, a Turkish pepper,  isn’t easy to find, but my favorite spice store is just a click away.

Once you make the marinade, 80% of your work is done.

After marinating them for the day, skewer the meat and start grilling –  the time to heat the grill and cook the chicken will be 25 minutes at most…

At this time of the year, we are all searching for light meals, so I paired it with a salad of mixed baby greens,   paper-thin cut (with a mandoline) raw zucchini, dried cranberries, and a lemon-olive oil dressing.

Life is good…


(adaptado de Bon Appetit, julho de 2009)

1 1 / 2 colheres de sopa de pimenta Aleppo (*)
1 copo de iogurte
3 colheres de sopa de azeite
2 colheres de sopa de vinagre de vinho tinto
2 colheres de sopa de massa de tomate
2 colheres de chá de sal
1 colher de chá de pimenta preta
2 dentes de alho esmagado
1 limão, com casca, em fatias finas
4 peitos de frango desossados, cortado em cubos
Espetinhos de bambu, mergulhados  em água por pelo menos 30 minutos antes de usar

Aleppo pimenta Coloque a pimenta Aleppo em uma tigela e misture com 1 colher de sopa de agua bem quente,  deixando repousar durante alguns minutos, até formar uma pasta.   Adicione o iogurte, azeite, vinagre, pasta de tomate, sal e pimenta, mexendo bem para misturar.

Adicione as fatias de alho e limão, em seguida, coloque os pedacos de frango na mistura de yogurte e temperos.  Deixar na geladeira pelo menos uma hora, ou de um dia para o outro.

Enfie os pedaços de frango nos espetinhos,  polvilhe com sal, e grelhe até dourar, virando uma vez, de oito a dez minutos ao todo.

Sirva com fatias de limão.

(*)  se nao encontrar pimenta Aleppo, use pimenta vermelha em flocos e um pouquinho de pimenta cayenna em po’


    • Leanne, I could not find a reference exactly to Armenian pepper, although from what I found, Aleppo is used heavily by people from Turkey, Armenia, and Syria. If you have something labeled as Armenian pepper, I would give it a try in this recipe anyway. As long as it’s not overly spicy, because Aleppo is reasonably mild…


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