From Flavors of the Sun: Chicken Kebabs with Toum
Even those of us who cook for a living resort to takeout now and then, and when I do, I invariably wind up grabbing a rotisserie chicken at Karam, a Middle Eastern deli-grill near our home in Brooklyn. The chicken is always perfectly cooked and juicy, but the real draw is their addictive toum. Native to Lebanon, toum is an egg-free cousin of aioli, with a much more potent punch of garlic. It keeps well in the refrigerator, so don’t be tempted to halve the recipe; you’ll find plenty of ways to use any extra, from salads to seafood to sandwiches. Leftover chicken makes a perfect lunch folded into a flatbread with some lettuce, onions, a bit of pickled vegetable, and, of course, plenty of that garlicky toum.
SERVES 6 TO 8
2 1/2 to 3 lb [1.2 to 1.4 kg] boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in chunks
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp Aleppo pepper, plus more for garnish
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup [60 ml] fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp crushed fresh garlic
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 cups [480 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb [455 g] red or yellow baby bell peppers or full-size peppers, cut into quarters
2 cups [320 g] cherry or grape tomatoes
To make the chicken: Put the chicken chunks in a large bowl. Add the parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, Aleppo pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and black pepper. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
To make the toum: Put the lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream until fully emulsified and fluffy like mayonnaise. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.When ready to cook, preheat a barbecue grill, ridged grill pan, or the broiler until very hot. Wipe the grill grates or grill pan with an oil-soaked paper towel to prevent sticking. Thread the chicken chunks onto long metal skewers, alternating with the bell peppers and tomatoes.
Grill the skewers over high heat, turning once, until well browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes total. Garnish with parsley and Aleppo pepper, and serve with lots of toum.