Oregano Chicken Skewers with Cucumber, Pickle & Feta Salad

SERVES: 4

Life hack: if you can’t find skewers, or forgot you needed them for this recipe, you can use chopsticks instead! They aren’t as pointy as skewers so you may need to use a little force in threading the meat on them, but I’ll be honest with you, at no point during the development of this recipe did I bother to invest in true skewers. I’ve got plenty of leftover takeout chopsticks on hand and speaking from experience, they worked juuuuuust fine.

Active Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins (including marination)

Oregano Chicken Skewers with Cucumber, Pickle & Feta Salad

Produce

  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 5 Persian cucumbers
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 cup dill leaves
  • 1 lemon

Pantry

  • 9 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 baby dill pickles
  • ⅔ cup sliced pickled pepperoncini
  • ⅔ cup walnuts or pecans

Dairy

  • 3 ounces feta cheese
  • Yogurt, for serving (optional)

Meat

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ lbs)
chicken skewars 2

1. Marinate the chicken:

  • In a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, 6 finely grated garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, and lots and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cut 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs in thirds crosswise, (into 3 long strips, cutting the long way not the short way). Add to the marinade. Let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours in the fridge.

2. Prep the salad:

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Place ⅔ cup walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt. Roast until deeply golden brown, 15-17 minutes. (If using a different nut variety, you may need less time.)
  • Cut 5 Persian cucumbers into 3/4” pieces on the bias.
  • Slice 6 baby dill pickles and 4 scallions crosswise.
  • Finely chop 1 cup dill leaves.
  • Combine the vegetables in a medium bowl along with 1 finely grated garlic clove, ⅔ cup sliced pickled pepperoncini (drained), 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Crush the walnuts; add to salad. Crumble 3 ounces feta into the salad. Toss gently to combine; season salad with salt and pepper. Keep cold until ready to serve.

3. Skew and serve:

  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, but reserve the marinade. Add 2 tablespoons water to the marinade.
  • Measure the width of your largest cast iron pan, and cut 8 skewers down to fit inside (alternatively, you can use a cast iron grill plate!) Thread the chicken onto the skewers in a ribboned / s-shaped manner. You’ll use 2 to 3 strips of chicken per skewer.
  • Preheat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Once smoke starts to arise from the oil, working in 2 batches, arrange the skewers and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown and charred in spots, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Using tongs, rotate the skewers and continue to cook, until browned on second side, 2-3 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with remaining skewers–the second batch may cook faster due to a very hot skillet!
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the reserved marinade and stir to scrape up all the bits stuck to the pan and create a sauce–it will bubble up rapidly and reduce thanks to the residual heat of the skillet. If it doesn’t return to medium low heat for a minute or so until it comes to a simmer. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the sauce. Season with salt.
  • Serve the skewers drizzled with pan sauce, alongside the cucumber salad, with yogurt for drizzling (optional).

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