I found this gem by just searching the Internet and love it so much! You can find it at this site: http://www.onceuponachef.com/2012/09/middle-eastern-chicken-kebabs.html#tabrecipe. This site also has the “basmati rice pilaf with dried fruit and almonds”, but we don’t like fruit in our rice and I’m allergic to almonds so we just left those out and it’s still amazing! This one needs to marinate for a while so I usually do this in the morning and let it go all day.
Start by mixing 1 C whole milk plain Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, zest from 1/2 a lemon (recipe calls for the whole thing, but I steady used half the zest from the lemon in a prior recipe and it still worked fine), 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper (recipe calls for 1/2 but we like pepper so I bumped it up), and 5 garlic cloves minced. Once well combined, set aside and prepare chicken By cutting about 2 1/2 lbs chicken into chunks that would be good for skewers. I usually just toss the marinade mixture and chicken (and sometimes the red onion cut in wedges but I forgot this time) into a large ziploc bag, toss to coat all the chicken pieces and then seal the bag and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
As you get ready for dinner, turn on the BBQ and pull the chicken out of the fridge so it can come to room temperature. Now let’s make the rice. Start by rinsing 1 1/2 C basmati rice till clean (about 4-5 times), then let drain. Dice about 1/2 of a yellow onion and 2 garlic cloves. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Once melted, add the onion. Cook till softened but not brown. Add 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and garlic. Stir and sauté about 30 seconds, till it gets fragrant. Add the rice and stir. Cook about 3 minutes stirring regularly. Add 2 1/4 C water, 1 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper (recipe calls for 1/4, but we like pepper). Bring to a boil, then cover, turn heat to low, and cook till the liquid is absorbed (about 15-18 minutes).
Wait till there is about 5 minutes left on the rice, then you can start cooking the chicken. We skipped putting them on skewers, but either way, over medium high heat on the grill, cook the chicken, turning regularly, till done (about 10-15 minutes. Then let rest till the rice is ready. While the chicken is being cooked, I sautéed the red onion in a little olive oil over medium heat till it was tender and some spots were browned, but you can include these on the skewers to grill them.
Once the rice is done, turn off the heat, set the lid on it loosely for about 10 minutes, then serve it up and enjoy!