Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Paleo Diet Cookbook's Greek Chicken Breast Kebobs

I must admit that I have a bias toward cookbooks with pretty pictures.  A few months ago, in search of new recipes, I bought Loren Cordian, Ph.D.'s The Paleo Diet Cookbook.  If you bought his new book, The Paleo Answer, the meal plans in that book reference recipes in this cookbook.  Unfortunately, The Paleo Diet Cookbook does not have a single picture except those on the cover of the book.   I decided that I've been unfairly overlooking this book and decided to give his Greek Chicken Breast Kebabs a try.  I searched around for where he may have posted this recipe online, but didn't see that he had.  If you search the internet, you may or may not be able to find this recipe posted somewhere.     

I gathered my ingredients and started to put the marinade together.  To keep the mess to a minimum, I decided to both mix my marinade and marinate the chicken in a plastic food storage bag.  I folded back the top edge of the bag so it would stand up on its own while I added ingredients.  
Look mom! No hands!

I started by squeezing my fresh lemons over the bag into my measuring spoon.  Yes, there were some seeds, but as this was just a marinade, I didn't bother to remove them.  I added some oregano, olive oil, and crushed garlic to the bag as well.

I sealed the bag and mixed up the marinade ingredients well.  

I added my chicken to the bag.  I completely forgot the cube my chicken first.  Oops.  

I again sealed the bag and worked the chicken around the bag to insure it was all coated with the marinade.

I put the bag in a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to marinade for about 4 hours.

The next step is to put the chicken on to skewers.  As I had forgotten to cube my chicken before marinating, I cut my chicken up and then put it on the skewers.  
The recipe calls for you to broil these on medium.  My oven has the option of broiling on hi or low.  No medium.  I chose to go with low.  Does anyone else have one of these annoyingly low broiling drawers on their oven?  I'm scared my curious paleo kitties are going to run in there one of these days.  Half way through the cooking process, I turned the kabobs.  
Here they are out of the oven.

I plated some chicken with some spaghetti squash and sat down for a taste.  

It looks good, but will it taste good.

Accessibility and Cost of Ingredients:  All of these ingredients for this recipe can be found at your "big box" grocery store fairly inexpensively.  You may want to invest in some stainless steel skewers .  They are fairly inexpensive and as you cook more, its nice not to have to soak wooden skewers.  

Preparation/Cook Time:  The preparation time for this recipe was 10 minutes, but that was without cutting the chicken into cubes, so it likely takes about 15 minutes if you don't forget to do that.  The recipe says you can marinate the chicken for as little as 2 hours.  I did mine longer simply because I got distracted by yard work.  Cook time for this recipe was 20 minutes.  

Clean Up: The clean up for this recipe is very easy as I used a plastic storage bag to marinate in. Everything except for my knife could go into the dishwasher.  I did have to do a little pre-dishwasher scrubbing of my broiling pan.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Down, for dryness not flavor.  This chicken came out extremely dry.  I may have mentioned this before, but I do have a bias against chicken breasts for this very reason.  I was attracted to this recipe because it looked quick, easy and flavorful.  It was quick to cook and clean up was easy.  I will say the flavor of the chicken was good, but the chicken was just too dry to really enjoy it.  While I do think that cubing my chicken before marinating it would have given it even more flavor, I don't think it would have made a difference with respect to the dryness.  As you can see from the picture, there wasn't much extra marinade once the chicken was coated. 

I might try this once more and double or triple the marinate and make sure to cube my chicken first.  It will be more likely to try more marinade with chicken thighs instead of breasts.  That, I think, would be quick and yummy.  

The recipe calls for 1.5 pounds of chicken, so I had leftovers.  I certainly was not going to try to continue to choke down this chicken as it came out of the oven.  To fix this chicken, I cut it up into slivers.  I took out a pure wrap and topped it with some mixed greens and the chicken slivers.  I prepared little a mustard balsamic vinaigrette in a coffee mug using a fork as a whisk.  I poured the dressing over the chicken.  Much better.  

I will continue to search for a good recipe, other than Jacques Pepin's Quick Roast Chicken, that will produce a juicy chicken breast.