Celebrate the start of warmer spring weather and longer evenings by barbecuing shashliki (shish kebabs)!
My husband describes shashliki as one of the main foods of his childhood in Ukraine. Grilling shashliki over an open fire is a tradition for his family. This recipe uses a barbecue, but if you have the chance to grill them over a fire, you should do so because the smoky flavour and aroma are simply amazing!
With the addition of the olives, I consider this my Italian spin on a Ukrainian favourite.
OLIVE CHICKEN SHASHLIK (ШАШЛЫК)
Serves: 2 people
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 mini sweet peppers
- 1/2 medium sweet onion
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for the grill
- ~16 green gaeta olives, split
- 1 tsp. dried chili pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- salt, pepper to taste
- Combine olive oil, 8 olives, chili pepper, basil and blend/puree into a smooth marinade.
- Cut the chicken breasts into chunks, approximately 16 to 20 pieces.
- Using half of the olive marinade, rub the chicken breast pieces and let sit, covered, for at least 2 hours. If you don’t have the time, you can proceed directly to the next step, however letting the marinade sit will greatly enhance the flavour of the chicken.
- When you are ready to grill, heat up the barbecue on high.
- Chop the sweet pepper and onion into 1 inch pieces. Cut the remaining 8 olives in half.
- Using 4 metal skewers, assemble the shashliki by alternating pieces of sweet pepper, onion, olives, and chicken. Be creative!
- Oil the grill. Place the shashliki on the grill to sear over the high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cook on low for 10 minutes and then low-medium for another 10 minutes. Turn them often and keep the grill well oiled. (Grilling times may vary depending on your barbecue, so always watch your food and use your best judgment.)
- Brush the shashliki with the remaining olive marinade/sauce, and cook for the last 5 minutes on medium-high heat.
Enjoy a taste of Ukraine! These pair wonderfully with roasted potatoes and a fresh garden salad.