Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Meyer Lemon Salsa

I had eyed the bags of perfectly gorgeous (almost to the point of fake-looking) Meyer lemons at the store for a few weeks before I finally set one in my cart. Never having actually used this particular citrus myself, I just wasn’t sure what to do with them.

Until I opened up my January edition of bon appetit. There it was. The recipe that was going to kick my butt over the Meyer lemon hurdle.

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Meyer Lemon Salsa.

My family could not get enough of these kebabs. Even while I was grilling them, big and little bodies kept wandering into the kitchen asking about the delicious and unfamiliar smell. The chicken was tender, perfectly flavorful, and charred to perfection.

Blake and I also liked the bright and tart contrast that the Meyer lemon salsa brought to the dish. It was unlike anything we had ever eaten before. But in all honesty, the salsa was just too much for the kids. It packed a very powerful punch, one that some might actually call overpowering if they aren’t especially fond of lemons. I plan to play around with the salsa ingredients a little more to find a compromise that will satisfy our whole family.

If you’re a lemon fan, I do hope you’ll try this complete recipe. And if you’re not a lemon fan…please, please, pleeeeeeease at least make the chicken kebabs. They’re outrageously good and have been stamped with the highest seal of approval from each and every family member here.

If you’re not familiar with the Meyer lemon, this dark yellow citrus fruit is one I encourage you to get friendly with. A cross between a lemon and a sweet orange, it has sweeter juice, a thinner smooth-skinned peel, and less acid than other lemons. And now is the time to find them at their peak.

So what will be my next delicious Meyer lemon galavant?

Here are just a few enticing things calling my name:

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Meyer Lemon Salsa

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

    for the Meyer lemon salsa:
  • 5 Meyer lemons
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped English cucumber
  • 3 T. thinly sliced scallions, divided
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (seeds removed)
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar (add more if your lemons are particularly tart)
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • for the chicken kebabs:
  • 1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 c. plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cracked coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Preparation

With a sharp knife, cut all the peel and white pith from the lemons and discard. Working over a medium bowl, cut between the membranes to release the lemon segments in to the bowl. You want only the membranes remaining. Squeeze juice from the membranes into the bowl and discard the membranes. Strain juice into another bowl to remove seeds. Here's a great little tutorial from bon appetit, if you've never done this before.

Combine lemon segments, 1 tablespoon strained lemon juice (reserve the rest for another use), cucumber, 2 tablespoons scallions, and chile in a small bowl. Mix well. Stir in sugar and salt and set aside.

Place chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a mini processor or blender, puree 1/4 cup cilantro, yogurt, vegetable oil, garlic, coriander, and turmeric. Pour marinade over chicken and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. (The marinade can be made 1 day ahead. Just cover and chill until you're ready to marinate the chicken.)

Heat outdoor grill or stove top grill pan to medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto 6 skewers. I used 9" long sturdy wood skewers that I soaked in water for 30 minutes before grilling. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. Place chicken kebabs on grill until you see nice char marks and then rotate them. Continue to rotate until all sides are nicely browned and the chicken is cooked through. This should take about 8 minutes or so. Transfer kebabs to plates. Spoon the Meyer lemon salsa over the chicken or serve it alongside. Garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro and 1 tablespoon scallions.

Source

Adapted from bon appetit, January 2012

   

30 Responses to “Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Meyer Lemon Salsa”

  1. #
    1
    Maria — February 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Love that salsa! Meyer lemons are the best! Thanks for the link love:)

  2. #
    2
    Morgan M — February 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

    This looks delicious! I have to say that I’ve never heard of a Meyer Lemon until reading this recipe this morning. Since then I have seen another post, saw them included on a dinner menu and received an email about them. I definitely need to try them now :)

    • Brenda replied on February 15th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      Ha! Well, it’s just that time of year. They’re in high season. :)

  3. #
    3
    Mom — February 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for teaching Mom so many new things about cooking and baking, Brenda.
    I have not picked up on Meyer lemons before, so will keep my eyes open for more
    recipes using them. The recipe sounds delicious!

    • Brenda replied on February 15th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      I think you’d like the bright lemon salsa, Mom. And I surely know you’d like the kebabs. Delicious.

  4. #
    4
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — February 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    This recipe looks absolutely fantastic. And, your pictures are just gorgeous, too. All of your posts just make me want to dive right into the page. Love!

    • Brenda replied on February 15th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Thank you, thank you, Natalie!! :)

  5. #
    5
    Becca-cookie jar treats — February 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    As soon as all the snow melts here ( which probably won’t be til April) I’m totally going to ask my mom to make this for dinner

    • Brenda replied on February 15th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Please let me know what you think of it!

  6. #
    6
    Aggie — February 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve been in such a grilling mood lately! These kebabs look awesome, especially w that salsa! And yes, I agree, meyers look so perfect they look fake! thanks so much for linking to my vinaigrette!

    • Brenda replied on February 18th, 2012 at 9:37 am

      We’ve had such a mild winter, we’ve been doing more winter grilling than usual. These kebabs were such a hit with our entire family, they’ll be in regular rotation. And, you’re welcome…can’t wait to try the vinaigrette. I like a locally made bottled lemon vinaigrette, so can’t wait to try yours! Have a great weekend, Aggie!

  7. #
    7
    Cookin' Canuck — February 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I can see why your family enjoyed these so much! They are so pretty to look at and that Meyer lemon salsa is brilliant.

    • Brenda replied on February 18th, 2012 at 9:44 am

      They are going into regular rotation around here…and I will definitely now be doubling the recipe each time I make them! Thanks, Dara – have a great weekend!

  8. #
    8
    Living The Sweet Life — February 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Myer Lemons are so gorgeous, the yellow reminds me so much of spring and I love that they are sweet yet still have that tart lemon flavor.
    Lovely recipe :) – - Im sure the salsa tasted absolutely amazing.

    • Brenda replied on February 18th, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Thank you. Can’t wait to buy more of those lemons! :)

  9. #
    9
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — February 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Looks beautiful Brenda. I love meyer lemons…and if you can believe it, passe up a bunch of them today at the market. I know…I think I was in a fog. How could I do that? :) Great post!!

    • Brenda replied on February 18th, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Thanks, Heather. Now I definitely know what all the fuss is about, and will definitely be buying more! Have a great weekend!

  10. #
    10
    Paula — February 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I’ve seen countless of posts cooking with Meyer lemons but this is the first time I’ve read a post where and explanation about the tastes of these lemons was provided. Thank You!
    The kebabs and the salsa look amazing. The kids are coming for the weekend and I think I just may make kebabs for dinner one night. The little ones love food on skewers…fun for them to eat:)

    • Brenda replied on February 18th, 2012 at 9:52 am

      You’re welcome, Paula! The “big ones” love food on skewers, too…just something about our own little stick on the grill. :)

  11. #
    11
    Harriet — February 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Those chicken kebabs look amazing! I’ve only just had my dinner but its got me craving Nandos now! I’m always on the look out for new chicken recipies so I’ll had this to my bookmarks as something new to try!

    I think I will have to leave the lemon salsa though as I have very, very sensitive teeth and even an apple makes them ache so I dread to think what such a cirtrussy salsa would do!

  12. #
    12
    Em (Wine and Butter) — February 17, 2012 at 8:25 am

    MMMM – I just love kebabs SO SO SO much. The perfect mix between tasting sort of junky and actually being really healthy right…!? I just wish Meyer lemons were easier to get here in the UK.

    Im off to stalk some other recipes on your blog! :)

    • Brenda replied on February 18th, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, Em – nice to meet you!

  13. #
    13
    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — February 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Those chicken kebabs are looking so good!

    • Brenda replied on February 21st, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Thanks, Kevin. Easy & delicious!

  14. #
    14
    Angela @ angelaskitchen.com — February 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Oh, man! I am so making these! Thanks for sharing! I was given a little meyer lemon tree and will be getting fruit this year. Yay! I can’t wait to try the salsa. :)

    • Brenda replied on February 21st, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Where is your lemon tree planted, Angela? Inside or outside? Can we really grow them here?!!

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