Lemon chicken skewers with melted goat cheese yogurt

By Patrizia Cucca

My mind is doing that thing where nothing creative or even remotely interesting is being produced. I think I need some drama or something to share. Although, no drama is always good. Well who’s done with winter? Ugh…it’s still snowing. Yes, that happens sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all pretend the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. Flowers just make me happy! Flowers and lemons….that’s right lemons!
Lemons are probably one of the most used ingredients in my kitchen. When I started to branch out, in terms of flavors and the dishes I was making, I realized that things like lemons, limes and herbs make a huge difference. They can make a meal. Just like mint, it adds just the right amount of coolness, especially added to a spicy dish. Since I am feeling some spring vibes, I thought it would be fun to share a fresh springtime eat. Don’t worry, if it’s still snowing or raining and you feel more like cozy food weather, because whats life without a little coziness but try this recipe and you’ll think spring has actually sprung. These skewers have a little kick to them so the minted goat cheese yogurt is the perfect addition. Everything about this meal is super simple, but simple is sometimes best.
INGREDIENTS
2 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken cut into bite size cubes
2 2 cloves garlic
2 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled + roughly chopped
2 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 1/2 tablespoon cumin
2 1 teaspoon salt
2 1 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cup olive oil
2 1 small to medium lemons grated + juiced
2 1 ounce jar marinated artichoke quarters 6
2 1 bunch asparagus cut into fourths
LEMON HERB VINAIGRETTE
2 1 lemon juiced plus the zest
2 1/2 a lime juiced
2 1/4 cup olive oil
2 1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 1 teaspoon salt
2 1 teaspoon honey
MINTED GOAT CHEESE YOGURT
2 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt I use 0%
2 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
2 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 lemon juiced
2 salt and pepper to taste
2 2-3 ounces goat cheese crumbled
INSTRUCTIONS
Place the chicken in a gallon size ziplock bag or medium size bowl. To the bowl of a food processor add the garlic, ginger, cayenne, cilantro, parsley, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Process 1-2 minutes or until everything is finely chopped. Stream in 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir in the lemon zest and the juice. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss well. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hour or overnight. Meanwhile make the vinaigrette. Add the lemon zest and juice to a small sauce pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and simmer, about 1 minute or until the zest absorbs the juice. Watch this closely, you do not want the zest to stick and burn to the pan. Spoon the zest out of the pot and into a small bowl. Add the olive oil, parsley, salt, honey and lime juice. Whisk to combine. Set aside. To make the minted goat cheese yogurt mix together the greek yogurt, chopped mint, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the crumbled goat cheese. Place in the fridge until ready to use. Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Thread the chicken, asparagus and artichokes onto metal skewers (or wood skewers that have been soaked in water). I alternated with asparagus and artichokes and then chicken, repeat. Place the chicken on the grill until the chicken is golden and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes each side. You may also cook the chicken in a skillet if needed. Serve the chicken with the the lemon herb vinaigrette and the minted goat cheese yogurt.

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