Karina Chronicles

Chicken Kebabs with Cauliflower Couscous

KD BIO ALICIA JohnstonYoung professional by day and culinary adventurer by night, Alicia loves to share hospitality and home cooked meals with friends. She writes Jaybird, a blog about finding home and happiness wherever life takes you. Say hi on FacebookTwitter or Instagram and check out her recipe collections on Pinterest!


Karina chicken kebabs with cauliflower couscous

Spring and summer are the seasons of friendship. As the sun heats up, moods lift and everyone comes out of winter hibernation to plan warm-weather fun. Sunshine sets the stage for a myriad of casual social events, from BBQs to picnics to camping trips. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the change of seasons this year as Chicago’s nasty winter has dragged on and on.

My family owns a gas grill that we fire up often in the summer. Though the smoky flavor imparted by a charcoal grill is phenomenal, the convenience of setup and ease of cleanup make gas a winning option for casual dinners. One of our favorite family recipes for Sunday dinner is chicken kebabs served over couscous. I’ve been working on my Paleo version of couscous for awhile, and I’m excited to share this meal with you today!

Cauliflower is such a star performer in the Paleo kitchen. Whether you rice it to make paleo-friendly sushi, use it in a curry, or mash it with carrots and thyme for heavenly comfort food, cauliflower can take on many different flavors and textures.

Here, I use riced cauliflower spiced with turmeric and curry to make a fluffy, greens-studded faux couscous. Each forkful combines crisp green onions, earthy turmeric, and bold Italian parsley for a savory delight.

Chicken marinated in a blend of lemon juice, olive oil, and simple seasonings makes for succulent kebabs that will disappear in a flash. Crumbled bay leaves add to the inviting scent of grilled chicken as it wafts through the kitchen or from the deck. I’ve recently made these kebabs in the oven, as I have yet to purchase a grill of my own.

Whether you own a grill or work your kitchen magic, this simple dish is an invitation to sit and savor a spring evening with friends and family. I mix the leftovers with spinach or arugula for an easy-to-pack workday lunch. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Kebabs over Cauliflower Couscous – Serves 4
Prep time: 20 mins + 4-hour marinade
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 32+ mins

For the chicken kebabs:

  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, divided
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • 10 small shallots
  • salt and pepper
  • 14 10-inch wooden skewers (soak in water for 30 minutes before using)

For the cauliflower couscous:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley leaves
  1. For the chicken: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup oil, garlic, and bay leaves. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Cut chicken into 3/4-inch cubes, add to marinade, and mix til evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for up to four hours.
  3. Thirty minutes before you begin cooking, place skewers in a shallow pan and cover with water. Soaking will prevent them from blackening while cooking.
  4. Core bell peppers and chop them into kebab-sized slices. Halve shallots and discard skin. Toss the vegetables in a bowl with 1 tablespoon each lemon and olive oil.
  5. Place one oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven-safe metal rack on top of it. Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers and place them on the rack.
  6. Broil for 6 minutes, turn the kebabs to cook on the other side, then broil for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned and no longer pink in the center. Your broiler may be slightly hotter or cooler than mine-check the skewers while cooking and adjust time as needed.
  7. Alternatively, you can use a gas grill per the original recipe: indirect/medium heat for 9-10 minutes.
  8. For the cauliflower couscous: You may need to process and cook this in two batches (as written). It’s a quick dish!
  9. Heat one tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place half the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade (basic chopping blade). Pulse 8-10 times or until cauliflower is the size of couscous grains.
  10. Pour cauliflower into the skillet and mix in turmeric, curry, and salt. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the couscous to a large bowl and repeat with the other half of the cauliflower.
  11. When the second half is done, turn off the heat and mix green onions and parsley into the couscous in the skillet. Mix until evenly combined with the other half and serve.
Note: adapted from a recipe in Grill By The Book: Chicken and Other Poultry from Weber & Sunset
karina chicken-kebabs-leftovers

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