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Watermelon Molasses Glazed Moroccan Chicken Kebabs

Serves8
IngredientsChicken, Watermelon
Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeMediterranean
Chicken and watermelon

Chef Rebecca Peizer

Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, N.Y.

Chef Rebecca Peizer gives chicken a Moroccan flavor by glazing it with housemade watermelon molasses during grilling. She starts with boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts for a juicier result and serves the kebabs with grilled watermelon sticks, a watermelon molasses yogurt sauce and pita.

Ingredients

Watermelon Molasses

¼ cup water

1 cup sugar

¼ cup lime juice

Pinch kosher salt

1 tbsp. olive oil

6 cups watermelon cubes, pureed

Watermelon Sauce

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt, to taste

3 tbsp. plain yogurt

½ cup watermelon molasses (recipe above)

1/3 cup olive oil

Kebabs

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-in. pieces

¼ cup watermelon molasses

2 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

Vegetable oil

½ tbsp. olive oil

8 watermelon sticks

8 pita breads, warmed

 

Watermelon Molasses

¼ cup water

1 cup sugar

¼ cup lime juice

Pinch kosher salt

1 tbsp. olive oil

6 cups watermelon cubes, pureed

Watermelon Sauce

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt, to taste

3 tbsp. plain yogurt

½ cup watermelon molasses (recipe above)

1/3 cup olive oil

Kebabs

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-in. pieces

¼ cup watermelon molasses

2 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

Vegetable oil

½ tbsp. olive oil

8 watermelon sticks

8 pita breads, warmed

Steps

  1. For watermelon molasses, combine water and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved; remove from heat and allow syrup to cool completely.
  2. Combine lime, salt, olive oil, cooled syrup and watermelon puree in deep, wide skillet or saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Skim off any foam. Cook until liquid is reduced to molasses-like consistency and coats back of metal spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before using.
  3. For watermelon sauce, place garlic in mortar with pinch of salt; pound with pestle to fine paste. Transfer paste to small bowl. Whisk in yogurt, ½ cup watermelon molasses and olive oil until emulsified.
  4. For chicken, in medium bowl, toss thigh pieces with ¼ cup watermelon molasses, garlic, parsley, paprika, cumin, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and salt. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  5. Preheat grill and rub with oil. Thread chicken onto 16 (8-inch) bamboo or metal skewers. Toss watermelon sticks with olive oil, remaining pepper flakes and pinch of salt.
  6. Place watermelon sticks on grill and cook 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until surfaces are marked. Remove from grill and grill chicken kebabs 8 to 12 minutes until cooked through and golden.
  7. Place chicken kebabs on plate and drizzle with watermelon molasses; serve with warmed pita, yogurt sauce and grilled watermelon. Garnish with tomatoes and mint.

Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board

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