I love Mediterranean food. For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with hummus. As a dip, as a sandwich spread, just give me a big spoonful of it and I'll be happy. It comes with no surprise that I crave chicken shwarma or beef kebabs at least once a week. In order to curb my cravings for this week, I put together the ultimate Mediterranean platter. Halal chicken skewers served with za'atar hummus, marinated cherry tomatoes, seasoned feta, brown rice pilaf, and tzatziki is the only way to have a Meditteranean feast. Get ready to loosen your belts!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
You can choose to make one, two or all of the components of this platter. I strongly encourage you to prepare them all, but it does require a bit of time and effort. To make life easier, you can prepare the hummus, tzatziki and marinated cherry tomatoes the day before.
There are many tips out there on how to produce the best hummus. I've heard peeling the chickpeas results in a smooth hummus or boiling them for 20 minutes before pureeing makes it extra creamy. In all honesty, I found that using a Vitamix is the quickest method of making creamy, smooth hummus. I mean, let's be real. Who has time to peel the skins off chickpeas?! Simply blend everything up together in a Vitamix until smooth, slowly drizzling in the reserved canned juices and olive oil. If you don't have a Vitamix, use a food processor and let it run for a couple of minutes. If you want to go the extra step, strain the hummus through a fine sieve. Finish with a sprinkle of za'atar seasoning for that extra special touch.
On the day of, start by marinating the halal chicken. Let it sit for no more than 4 hours since the high amount of lemon can over-tenderize the chicken, making it mushy and stringy (yuck!). Skewer the chicken and grill when it's ready. You can also bake the halal chicken skewers or even cook them on the stovetop.
While the chicken is marinating, cook the brown rice pilaf. A little white wine, chicken stock, and garlic can turn ordinary brown rice into incredible brown rice. This is my go-to recipe for any type of grain pilaf. Substitute the brown rice for white rice, quinoa, farro, barley, pretty much any grain, adjusting the amount of chicken stock as needed.
This halal chicken skewers platter was beyond words. I knew it was going to be good but I didn't think it was going to be AMAZING. But then again, how can you go wrong with amazing sauces and sides? Heat up some pita bread, grab a plate, and get ready to go to town.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.