This kebab is a perfect balance of flavours; juicy aromatic spiced chicken, garlicky, creamy labneh, and crispy fried savoury onions, all topped off with little pops of sweet and sour pomegranate.
4 skin-on boneless chicken thighs
2 tbsp baharat spice mix (see Ed. Note below)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the labneh
200g / 7oz Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 baby gem lettuce, torn
50g / 1 3/4 oz pomegranate seeds
Start by making the labneh. Set a sieve over a large bowl and line it with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper (paper towel). Mix the yogurt, garlic, parsley, and salt together, then spoon the mixture into the centre of the sieve. Gather up the corners of the kitchen paper and secure. Leave to strain for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, rub the chicken with the baharat and cinnamon, and season well. Set aside.
Toss the shallots in the flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium–high heat and cook the shallots until golden and crisp – about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. You may have to do this in batches as the shallots burn easily and colour quickly.
Heat a barbeque or griddle pan to high. Cook the chicken, skin-side down, for 5 minutes. Flip over and cook for a further 3 minutes until cooked through and charred in places. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Unwrap the herby labneh, thickly slice the chicken thighs, and serve with lettuce and the pomegranate seeds in a warm flatbread.
Ed. note regarding baharat spice mix from Managing Producer Sally Swift:
“Baharat” simply means spice in Arabic. It’s an all-purpose spice blend routinely used in Middle Eastern cooking. You can find it ready made in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern groceries or come up with your own blend by roughly combining the following to taste: equal amounts of black peppercorns, coriander seed, cumin seed and sweet paprika; with lesser amounts of allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Using whole spices that you toast and then grind is the best approach, but don’t feel compelled to take that on if it is daunting. Instead, blend your own and use with abandon!
Recipe excerpted with permission from Posh Kebabs by Rosie Reynolds, published by Quadrille August 2017
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