BBQ Plans for the weekend? Let’s make Spicy Chicken Kebabs

BBQ plans for this weekend? I sure hope so. With soccer fever at an all time high here in South Africa, there is just so much to celebrate and when we here in South African have some celebrating to do, nothing works better than a good old fashioned BBQ. Although from a distance, we did celebrate here at home with a BBQ and these delicious Spicy Chicken Kebabs.
Last night, after the 2010 World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert, I went to bed with vuvuzelas blowing in the distance and this morning I woke up with the vuvuzelas still going strong. Soccer fever is here for sure and in the next month there will be so many reasons to invite friends and family for a  BBQ or “braai”  to share in these exciting moments.

Now back to the Spicy Chicken Kebabs. Sosaties (so-sar-tee) are our own version of a kebab and traditionally it is made with lamb, My good friend Juno from Scrumptious South Africa made some mini Sosaties as part of her Football Snack Series. The trick is really in marinading the meat, which ever meat you choose. I opted for chicken as we are really trying to cut down on red meat. I made Chicken Kebabs before using a Cape Malay Marinade and they were delicious. I needed buttermilk for this recipe and because I have been in bed with flu this whole week, there was no buttermilk in the fridge. I had to make another plan and it was then that I remembered the Sosatie Marinade I made for my Lamb Chops with a Malay Twist. This marinade is awesome! The blend or spices comes together beautifully and the vinegar and wine tenderises the meat to perfection. 

Like with Steak there are various ways to cook these kebabs, but to get that true South Africa Smoky flavor, grilling over an open fire is best. I have found that, because chicken dries out so quickly, the heat must be intense, but your grid must be high above the coals. The chicken kebabs will be ready in no time. I served it on a bed of warm couscous with roasted veggies for some Lekka African fusion.

Spicy Chicken Kebabs

1 kg chicken breasts – skin and boneless
12-15 pickling onions – peeled and halved
250gr dried Turkish apricots

For the Marinade

1 big onions – halved and sliced
2 cm piece ginger – grated
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2  cardamom pods – crushed
1 tsp garamasala
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric 
1 tbs sugar
125ml water
100ml vinegar
vegetable oil

Crush all the dry seeds in your pestle and mortar. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the dry seeds. Fry the seeds for a few seconds just to release all the volatile oils and then add the onion, ginger, garlic, curry and garamasala. Fry the onions until they are soft. Add the water, vinegar and sugar and let the marinade cook for about 3-4 minutes. Taste and season accordingly. What you want is a sweet, tangy, spicy marinade. Let the marinade cool down completely .
Cut the chicken in bite size pieces and as soon as the marinade has cooled down, add the chicken, pickling onions and apricots to the marinade. BTW use a plastic or earthenware bowl for this. Keep refrigerated for at least a couple of ours…overnight is best. When using wooden skewers, also soak them overnight in water to prevent them from burning. When ready to grill, skewer the chicken onto the wooden sticks with pieces of onion and apricots in between. Grill and serve immediately.