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What’s for Dinner: Chicken Skewers

I took boneless chicken breasts and cut them into thin strips.
I marinated the chicken with:
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Onion powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Parsley flakes
  • Basil leaves
  • Yogurt
  • Papaya (to help tenderize the chicken) [see updated note down below]

All of the above, quantity wise, were to taste.

Turn the broiler in your oven on to high.

I then skewered the chicken. I used metal skewers today, but wooden ones that are easily found in the baking aisle at your local grocery store work as well. Just leave the wooden skewers in water for a while [at least half an hour] before using them, so they don’t turn completely black while in the oven.

Once all of your chicken is skewered, put it in the oven under the broiler [on high] for 15 minutes.

Then take them out, flip all of the skewers upside down (not easy to do sometimes)… and put it back in the oven for another 10 or so minutes. Just keep an eye on it.

Serve it warm. With raita, or some quick and easy sauce, would be great. This particular day, I served it with fries and I made the homemade Cheddar Bay Biscuits from scratch again.

Tip for you: Make sure that when you have the broiler on, you leave the oven door open a little bit. Most ovens, I believe, can remain a little bit open on their own. Not exactly sure why you are supposed to do this, but you are. I’m guessing to let the smoke escape, perhaps? If for no other reason, than this: I’ve always found that the food in question remains more moist when I leave the door open. A few times, I’ve forgotten to leave the oven door ajar and with the heat so high, the food had become tougher.

Looking for a fries recipe? Click here and try this one that I make.

Updated Note 3/19: Now that I think about it, I guess I should have explained the raw papaya a little more… I’m sure it’s not too common. It’s something I saw my mom using as a tenderizer growing up, and I’ve been using it myself as well, so it’s just second nature to me. It doesn’t add any taste, just helps tenderize the meat/chicken [you can’t even tell it’s in the marinade once it’s all mixed up!]. I guess a meat tenderizer would do the same thing, but I don’t remember ever using it! Why not use a vegetable if you can, right? Trust me, it doesn’t add a funky taste or anything… you can’t even tell it’s in there — but it makes a huge difference in the moistness and tenderness!

What I do is: I take raw green papaya (not the orange/yellow one… makes a difference), and cut it into manageable pieces… and throw it into my food processor to do all the work. You want it minced into a pasta-like consistency… very thin! I use how much I need at the moment, and put the rest in a large zip-loc [and into my freezer], so it’s ready for me when I need it next time. For about 2-3 pounds of chicken, I’d say I use about 2-3 heaping tablespoons worth of my raw papaya concoction. Another tip: once the remainder of the papaya is frozen, break them into single-use sizes so you can just pull them out individually instead of waiting for the huge piece to defrost (this is something my mom does… I never remember until I actually need to use it). I should also mention that I don’t use papaya every time: usually only when baking, broiling or grilling that would perhaps make the chicken/meat tough in the process.

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P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Spicy Lemon Shrimp

Today, I made shrimp similar to the one I made a few weeks ago. This time, however, I baked it. In my opinion, it turned out better (in comparison to the sauteed version from last time). I think baking it helped the shrimp cook evenly too.
As always, I kept it really simple- and used the spices I use in pretty much anything [and I mean everything]. I marinated the shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and lemon juice. I baked it in a preheated 400 degree oven for about twelve minutes, turning over all of the shrimp at the halfway point for even cooking.
The outcome? Deliciousness.
Today, I served it with salad, biscuits, and hash browns. Roasted potatoes and rice would work wonderfully as well.
P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets

We usually never get pita bread in our house. But a week or so ago, when we ordered takeout from a local Mediterranean place, they also gave us a packet of pita bread with our order for some reason.
I had been trying to think of what to make with it to make use of it. Of course, the first thing that popped in my head days ago was pita pockets. But I don’t like how dry and bland they usually are. To make it more tasteful, I added a bunch of spices to the chicken marinade before grilling it and also to the sauce. Surprisingly, it turned out great!
As usual, this was another quick fix! I may love cooking, but by no means do I have the patience for things that take forever to make. Easy, fast, and delicious are the criteria in my book!
How I made it:
I marinated the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, a little onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. I grilled the chicken and then cut it across the grain.
For the sauce: I mixed yogurt, a dash of water, garlic powder, pepper, chili powder
and cayenne pepper.
To assemble: I mixed coleslaw and cucumbers with the chicken and sauce and put it in the warm pita (which I halved).
Check out another one of my recent recipes:

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:
P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.