This is my favorite chicken marinade. It makes boring old boneless, skinless chicken breasts so juicy and flavorful. I’ve been making these Chicken Kebabs with Cilantro and Garam Masala for awhile now (even before I had a grill and only used my grill pan).
I bought my first jar of Garam Masala back in college when I was making an authentic Indian dish. For a long time it sat behind all of my spices because I couldn’t find much use for it.
I obviously wasn’t thinking creatively enough because Garam Masala can add so much flavor and good “spice” to a dish (I put spice in quotes there because when used in small amounts it certainly does not make your food too hot). If you take a big whiff, you get hints of cinnamon, cumin, and garlic. This jar has slowly crept to the front of my spices and gets a lot more love these days.
It is definitely worth acquiring a jar of Garam Masala for this recipe.
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, America’s Test Kitchen: The New Best Recipe. It can also be used on lamb, so it’s really quite versatile.
I typically eat these kebabs with some combination of hummus, tzatziki, brown rice, grilled veggies, etc.
If you marinate the chicken the night before or even in the morning before work, it makes weeknight dinners a total breeze! Just throw these skewers on the grill and you are good to go!
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 large garlic cloves
- juice of 1 lemon (about 1.5 Tablespoons)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1.5" cubes***
- 7-8 metal skewers (or bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling)
- Combine all ingredients besides the chicken in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth for about 30 seconds. Stop the blade, remove the lit and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the lid and process again for an additional 20-30 seconds until the ingredients are well blended.
- Place the chicken cubes in a medium bowl and pour the cilantro mixture over the chicken. Mix around to thoroughly cover the chicken with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour (the longer the better - overnight is the best).
- Remove the chicken from the fridge. Skewer the pieces onto the metal or bamboo skewers, making sure to leave a small amount of space between the chicken pieces (you do not want the chicken pieces to touch to ensure the flame from the grill can reach all sides of the pieces). Grill uncovered on medium heat until the meat is well browned all over, about 8 minutes.
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