Smoky Chicken Skewers with Pink Lentil Hummus & Minted Cucumber and Tomatoes

The title sounds long and involved, but this dinner can be put together in under an hour. Or take your time and make each of the elements over the course of a day or two. Your reward is a tender pita, stuffed with grilled chicken, cinnamon spiked hummus and tomato cucumber salad for crunch. I love using pink lentils for hummus as they blend up so easily and make for a very creamy spread, but you could grab a can of chickpeas if you would rather skip the step of cooking the lentils. Either way, it is important that you make your own hummus for this dish, as store-bought will not deliver the same flavor.

Smoky Chicken Skewers with Pink Lentil Hummus & Minted Cucumber and Tomatoes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
The title sounds long and involved, but this dinner can be put together in under an hour. Or take your time and make each of the elements over the course of a day or two. Your reward is a tender pita, stuffed with grilled chicken, cinnamon spiked hummus and tomato cucumber salad for crunch. I love using pink lentils for hummus as they blend up so easily and make for a very creamy spread, but you could grab a can of chickpeas if you would rather skip the step of cooking the lentils. Either way, it is important that you make your own hummus for this dish, as store-bought will not deliver the same flavor.
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Course Main Course
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

For the hummus:

  • 1 cup pink lentils
  • ¼ cup well-stirred tahini
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the cucumber tomato salad:

  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded if necessary and diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn or roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For serving

  • soft pita bread
  • crumbled feta

Instructions
 

  • Begin by making the hummus. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Cook until very tender, which could take as little as 20 minutes or as long as 40 depending on how fresh the lentils are. Drain them in a fine mesh sieve, then place them into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients for the hummus and puree until very smooth, 4-5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, garlic, or cinnamon if if needs more flavor. Scrape into a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. The hummus can be made up to a day ahead.
  • While the lentils are cooking, marinate the chicken. Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let marinate for an hour or up to 4 in the refrigerator. Using wooden skewers, place 4-5 pieces of chicken on each and place them on an oiled baking sheet (you could also grill them).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 and cook the chicken, turning once, until done throughout, about 10 minutes per side.
  • To make the salad, combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl and toss together. This can also be made ahead and refrigerated for a few hours.
  • To serve, gently warm the pita bread and top with a the chicken, some hummus, and the salad. Garnish with crumbled feta if desired.
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