Thursday, August 21, 2008
Chicken, Haloumi, and Preserved Lemon Skewers
Cheese is good. Hot, gooey, melted cheese is even better. So when I saw the cover of Donna Hay's magazine issue #37, I knew that I had to try it. I had everything that I needed to make it except for preserved lemon. I've searched all over for some preserved lemon, but alas, it is not to be found in my neck of the woods (or at least not found by me) and I haven't the time to make any right now. I finally decided I wasn't going to let that stop me, since I had lots of frozen lemon zest and some juice, maybe I could just use that and see how it worked out.
I have conflicting things to say about this recipe. First of all my skewers were kind of thick, and when I speared the cheese, it started to split. Then when I began grilling, it started falling off the skewers. The cheese was ready before the chicken cubes were. I was able to gather up the melted blobs of cheese and pile them on my bread. I was so sad, because this was the first time Donna Hay has ever let me down. But then I tasted it, and immediately she was back on the pedestal that I have her firmly placed on. This was so good. So amazingly good. The freshness of the lemon, the richness of the cheese, the chicken, everything, fantastic. I did make fresh bread (naan), which I served with it. I had forgotten how easy and tasty naan was. The recipe does tell you to use a nonstick frying pan or a barbecue hot plate, and I tried grilling it, which was my main problem. I think next time I will use my grill pan, so that I don't risk losing any of the glorious cheese. Also, I didn't serve it with the spinach leaves (didn't have any), instead I just grilled some eggplant for along side it.
Chicken, Haloumi and Preserved Lemon Skewers
2 chicken breast fillets, trimmed and cut into cubes
16 oz haloumi cheese
1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil (for marinade)
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon, flesh removed and the rind rinsed (I used lemon zest)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch of oregano
pita bread for serving
baby spinach leaves for serving
lemon wedges for serving
Place the chicken, haloumi, lemon juice, olive oil, preserved lemon (or zest), garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine. Cover and place the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan or grill plate over medium heat. Thread the chicken, haloumi and oregano onto skewers and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with the pita bread and baby spinach leaves and lemon wedges.
This will be my entry for this week's Bookmarked Recipes, which you can find the roundup at Ruth's Kitchen Experiments.