Lemon and Peppered Chicken Kebabs Recipe
Day 11 - Healthy Eating Plan
No your eyes are not deceiving you I am doing barbecued food - well actually these have been grilled in a nice hot kitchen which is much more in keeping with the -4ºC weather that is lurking outside my front door. It was so cold today, the garden may be taking shape nicely but it's not so much fun when I am so cold my fingers won't move. I hate the cold, I was brought up in Scotland and I remember as a child standing in a playground corner crying because the wind was whipping into my face, tragic I know, never have like cold freezing wind ever since.
Last weekend I was outside taking photographs of our local rugby club games (which you can view here http://www.bletchleyrugby.com/index.php/picture-gallery) and eventually I had to give up because my fingers refused to move, and it's at times like that you know that where you really want to be is at home in a warm inviting kitchen. British weather sometimes makes it very difficult for me to be outside, I know the Scottish Comedian and one of our national treasures, Billy Connolly, would say that there's no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing - sorry Billy the weather can all so easily defeat me despite the right clothing.
As you can see from the photo we're ignoring the weather today and cooking Lemon & Pepper Chicken Kebabs - bliss on a stick! I am not however cooking these outside on a barbecue, grilled is the way to go on a cold day but bear these in mind for the Summertime when you're having a barbecue, they may be low in fat but they are huge on flavour. Easily prepared in advance the night before they become a very quick meal for us busy people pressed for time.
Recipes; Pineapple and Mint Sugar - you really must try this it's absolutely amazing and definitely something that will brighten up your morning. Of course if you're watching your weight you can use a light sugar, I highly recommend the Tate & Lyle light version, I believe there's a third less calories in this one than in regular sugar and there's no after taste.
Plus a Fat Free Danone Activia Cherry Yoghurt.
Comment: Oh today is off to a blinding start - I know it sounds like madness to get so excited about this dish but wait till you taste it.
Today's lunch is one of those 'here's one I prepared earlier' kind of things, this is a soup that I make on a regular basis and I always do double the quantities as it freezes so beautifully, then all I have to do is put 1 person portions of it into the freezer for another day when I want something homemade without any of the work.
Recipes; Spicy and Warming Lentil Soup and a wholemeal roll.
1 Red British Cox Apple
Comment: What a perfect lunch this has been today, I got the soup out of the freezer last night and popped it in the fridge until i was ready to warm it through. Healthy eating, no fat and it's so important to include pulses in your diet they're a wonderful source of fibre and protein.
DINNER - LEMON & PEPPERED CHICKEN KEBABS
One word of warning when preparing this dish when cutting up the chillies it's best to wear rubber gloves; I know there are people out there who can cut up chillies with no precautions but the amount of times I have rubbed my eye, even hours afterwards, and suffered the awful consequences is without count - so trust me if you don't want that happening to you get the rubber gloves out - clean ones ones of course!
Ingredients to provide 6 servings:
6 Free Range Chicken Breasts
2 small Yellow or Red Chillies
2 teaspoons / 10ml of Black Peppercorns
Rind and Juice of 3 Unwaxed Lemons
1 Organic Garlic Clove, crushed
2 teaspoons / 30ml of Clear Honey
- Remove any fat or gristle from the chicken breasts, and cut them into bite-size pieces.
- Put on your rubber gloves and thinly slice the chillies.
- You can use a normal pepper mill to crush the peppercorns for this dish but I prefer the pepper to be more coarsely ground so I use a pestle and mortar to grind down the peppercorns to the texture we prefer. If you're not a big fan of peppered meals then you can omit this step and just give it a light seasoning of pepper it will still have a healthy kick of heat from the chilli.
- Place your lemons on a work surface and roll them around with the palm of your hand, crushing them slightly as you go, this will make them so much easier to juice.
- Now either using a zester (see link at the end of the recipe) or a fine grater, grate and juice your lemons.
- Into a sealable plastic bag place all of your ingredients, including what is left of your lemons, it all adds to the wonderful flavour that will develop while the chicken is marinating.
- This can now be placed either in a fridge overnight or for at least 30 minutes, the longer this marinades the better it will taste.
You can add other things into the bag before sealing, I like to add large chunks of Spanish Onion, Red Peppers and baby Aubergines, basically anything that you have available will be grand, it makes the dish go further and the vegetables taste wonderfully sweet when barbecued/grilled.
- Before cooking the chicken bring it back to room temperature and thread the pieces of chicken onto either steel or wooden skewers. If you're using wooden skewers soak them in water while the chicken is marinating, this way they will withstand the heat of the cooking process without splitting and splintering, (or catching fire).
- Interspace the chicken with pieces of vegetable.
- And you can use the lime pieces on the ends to hold them all together nicely - and it looks very pretty.
- Cook on the barbecue or as today under a hot grill for 10-12 minutes, basting occasionally with the marinating and turning them as they brown. Note: If you don't have any skewers you can always griddle the chicken pieces or place them in a shallow dish with the vegetables and roast them in the oven.
Comment: I served these with some roasted vegetables, couscous and salad and they were absolutely scrumptious, although I did omit the pepper for the children's kebabs. For those who are not watching their weight I can recommend some hot toasted pitta breads with a dollop of mayonnaise - I hope your family and friends enjoy these as much as mine do.
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