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New Mexico Chicken kebabs.


In preparation for the warm weather I have been playing with a few ideas and different recipes. Here is the first of a few to come, Chicken kebabs with a 'Tex-Mex' twist. The New Mexico spice blend is a pungent combination of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic, mustard and herbs. It is not 'hot - spicy' but it does pack a punch in flavour terms. I have tried this with pork pieces with great results and it will work well re-fried beans, but here I have gone for the ever popular taco filler, chicken kebab.


For the best results, you do need to plan ahead a little. I use yoghurt and the spice mix to form a marinade that I coat the chicken in and leave for at least two hours in the fridge to do its thing. The reason I use yoghurt is that it tenderises the chicken giving a beautifully soft and delicate piece of meat. If you have never done this and have ever only experienced dry, tough chicken pieces on a kebabs, you are in for a treat!


Here I have served the kebabs with an avocado salad, coleslaw and cherry tomatoes topped with pickled jalapeno peppers.


As to the kebab recipe, well as I have done all the hard work for you by making up the mix, it really couldn't be simpler.


Ingredients. (serves 4)

800g of skinless chicken breast, cut into roughly 2cm bite sized kebab chunks.

200 ml of plain yoghurt. It can be natural or Greek, it doesn't appear to matter.

1 tablespoon of Suffolk Spice Company New Mexico mix.


And for the kebabs themselves, that's it.


Method

Basically, all you need to do is prep the chicken, cut it to kebab sized chunks, mix the spice into the yoghurt and stir into the meat. Turn it well until all the pieces are coated, cover the bowl in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Let the yoghurt marinade do its work.


When you are ready, skewer the meat pieces onto BBQ skewers. Do not over crowd the meat on the sticks! You have just spent at least 2 hours allowing the meat to relax, the last thing you want to be doing is shoving all of it onto a few skewers so it looks like a rush hour Piccadilly tube train on a Friday night! If you don't have enough skewers (remember what I said about being organised?), then cook the meat in batches and reuse the skewers.


With the meat ready, you can now cook them as suits you best at the time. A bbq is good, in the oven on a tray if needs be, under a grill or on a health grill (my method of choice.) Cook until the chicken is cooked through and you start to get some good dark caramelised edges, it will not take too long. If in doubt, take a piece from the end and cut it in half in order to check. If you taste test it, remember it will be soft and juicy, quite unlike dry old chicken kebabs of old.


Serve with the sides of your choice, flatbreads or tacos and a cold beer.

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