Chermoula Chicken and Red Onion Skewers
Growing up in Tunisia, there was always someone in the kitchen preparing food for the whole family. One of my favourites was chermoula chicken and red onion skewers with a lime and mint creme fraiche on the barbecue. Chermoula is a marinade used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking for fish or seafood dishes but it’s great for grilled meat!
Tunisian food culture is all about using fresh produce and cooking meals from scratch. Alongside the chicken skewers, we would have roasted tomatoes with homemade bread, better than anything you could find in an Artisan bakery! Make sure to marinate the chicken for at least a couple of hours before cooking for the best kick of flavour.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 4 (6 ounces) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup finely chopped mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
- bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Whisk olive oil, 1/4 cup mint, cilantro, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 cloves garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne in a large bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade in a separate bowl.
Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over chicken. Press air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Whisk yoghurt, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup mint, 2 cloves garlic, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a bowl to make the sauce. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
Toss red onion in the reserved 1/4 cup marinade. Remove chicken from the bag and discard all marinade. Thread chicken and onion alternately onto skewers.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Arrange skewers on the grill. cook, turning once or twice until chicken is firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from grill and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with lime and mint creme fraiche.
Lime and Mint Creme Fraiche
Combine creme fraiche, chopped mint, lime juice and zest in a bowl season with salt and pepper and serve cold.
TOP TIPS: Sam has used this as a small starter in the restaurant, however this can easily be a perfect main course with side servings of a fresh salad and rice or cous-cous. For the best results, make sure to marinate the chicken a few hours before you start cooking and either use a barbecue or charcoal grill for extra flavour!