I feel like the summer has only just started in Quebec City: the sun has finally come out for several days in a row, and we’re having the kind of hot and humid weather that gives you the urge to take your cooking outside. I don’t barbecue a lot, so when I do, I usually go for chicken because I find it hard to miss. Take, for example, these simple skewers: made with moist and tender marinated chicken thighs, it would actually be a challenge to fail at grilling them right. In other words, they are perfect for my skills. The secret to making them extra special is through a tasty condiment, such as this recipe’s zesty cilantro pesto. It’s the kind of condiment I see myself using in many different ways—from dipping sauce to topping for grilled fish, to even dressing for an Asian-style slaw.
The kale tabbouleh is a play on the traditional dish, which is usually a mix of parsley, mint, tomatoes, and bulgur seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. I had a bunch of kale in the fridge, so I thought it would make a great, vitamin- and protein-boosting substitute for part of the parsley. Fresh cherry tomatoes and radishes add color and texture, and za’atar inserts a splash of flavor that makes the salad surprisingly addictive. Using couscous instead of bulgur means you can whip up this salad in minutes, as the couscous passively cooks and cools while you chop the veggies. After all, in the summer, I’m all for saving your time to soak in the sun, a glass of wine in hand. Who’s with me?
Makes 4 servings.
25 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
For the cilantro pesto: Place all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor. Process until you reach a creamy and slightly grainy texture, adding more olive oil if needed. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
For the kale tabbouleh: Place the couscous in a bowl or a large measuring cup. Bring the vegetable broth or water to a boil, then pour over the couscous. Give it a stir, cover with plastic wrap and let rest and cool while you prepare the rest of the salad (or about 5 to 10 minutes).
In a large bowl, mix the chopped kale, parsley, and mint. In a small bowl, whisk together the olice oil, lemon juice, za’atar, and sea salt. Drizzle over the salad and mix well to coat the greens.
Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork, then add it to the salad (the couscous should only be warm or completely cooled to room temperature before adding it to the salad). Mix the salad to incorporate the couscous. Add the cherry tomatoes and radish slices, mix just to combine and transfer to a serving bowl.
For the chicken skewers: Whisk the olive oil, honey, and garlic together in a small bowl. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and add the chicken thigh strips. Seal and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Preheat the grill, setting the burners on medium. Oil the grate. Drain the chicken from the marinade (discarding the marinade), then thread the strips on metal skewers. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the skewers about 4 minutes per side, or until the chicken is well marked and cooked through.
Serve immediately, drizzled liberally with cilantro pesto and sided by a generous scoop of kale tabbouleh.
Note: Za’atar is a Middle-Eastern mix of spices that include thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt.
Recipe Credit: Chicken skewers and cilantro pesto based on recipes by RicardoCuisine.com.
Kale tabbouleh by Marie Asselin.
This post was created in partnership with RicardoCuisine.com. For more chicken inspiration, head on to their site where you’ll find over 230 easy and delicious chicken recipes. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep Food Nouveau running!
More summery chicken inspiration from my kitchen:
- Chicken Thigh Casserole with New Potatoes and Tomatoes
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Fillets with Asparagus Pesto Sauce
- Chicken Soba Salad with Ginger-Peanut Dressing
- Curried Chicken and Asparagus Salad