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Old 12-01-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
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Chicken Kebabs

Chicken Kebabs

Been experimenting with different marinades to replicate the taste of the chicken meat found in kebab shops but with no luck. I have tried to use:

-low fat yogurt
-Malt vinegar
-crushed garlic
-black pepper
-salt
-curry powder
-allspice (used cinnamon/cloves/nutmeg powder)
-lemon juice

for marinating the chicken thighs overnight. But the taste is not right at all and the meat is still too tough.

I am thinking of using something fatty like mayonnaise (to make the meat smoother) instead of yogurt for my next attempt.

Does anyone of you know what they actually use to marinade the chicken in the shops in the UK?

Thanks in Advance!

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Old 12-02-2014, 05:41 AM   #2
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What kebab shops are you talking about? I mean ethnically ?


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Old 12-02-2014, 07:38 AM   #3
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Cumin!

No mayo. Use olive oil. Use lemon juice and not vinegar.

Try a mixture of greek yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper.

Make sure you use enough salt or the chicken might taste bland.

Other ingredients might include coriander, tumeric, cinnamon, chili powder.

Allspice is a berry, not a spice mixture by the way.

Acidic marinades can toughen protein, so make sure you don't overdo the acid.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
What kebab shops are you talking about? I mean ethnically ?


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Turkish.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:44 AM   #5
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I've made this recipe before and highly recommend it. These kebabs are delicious!

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper Recipe | Epicurious.com

For me, I think the Aleppo pepper is the key. Well, that and the garlic.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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Turkish kebabs are usually made from beef or lamb, not sure about chicken. But sumac is also very common spice.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Turkish kebabs are usually made from beef or lamb, not sure about chicken. But sumac is also very common spice.
I've eaten Chicken Kebabs in Turkey (which sounds like a strange joke). They call them Tawuk Sis, or similar. I don't remember the exact spelling.

You're right that sumac is a common spice. I've also had Turkish kebabs with a yogurt sauce, which I think is my favorite.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:17 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the good advice. I can't wait to try this out this weekend! I now think I may have gone too acidic in my marinade in my first attempt
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:54 PM   #9
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I have also been suggested to bath the meat in a brine before actual marinating to add juiciness. It does seem to make sense
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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Does marinading in yogurt do anything other than add flavor (not sure the kind of flavor to expect from it)?

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Old 12-12-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
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Does marinading in yogurt do anything other than add flavor (not sure the kind of flavor to expect from it)?
The acidity helps tenderize the meat. The flavor of plain yogurt is mild and tangy, but the yogurt carries the flavors of the other seasonings mixed into it into the meat.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:09 AM   #12
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Don't Call Me Shirley

Here's Shirley Corriher's explanation of marinating:

Marinades Add Flavor but Don' t Always Tenderize

The full article is definitely worth the read. Here's the gist of it:

"There is a commonly held belief that soaking a tough cut of meat in a marinade will make it tender. Sadly, this just isn't true much of the time.

While some marinades are very successful at adding flavor to meat, chicken, and fish, they are, with one exception, a disaster at tenderizing.
The two most popular types of marinades are acidic (made with citrus, vinegar, or wine) and enzymatic (made with ingredients such as pineapple and papaya). Although both types work primarily on the surface of the food, they lead to different results: highly acidic marinades can actually toughen food, while enzymatic marinades can turn the surface of the food to mush.

For true tenderizing, the most effective marinades are those that contain dairy products."
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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Well, maybe it's not the acidity, but yogurt is a dairy product, and I've found that it does tenderize without making the meat mushy. I made chicken tandoori recently; I only marinated it for a couple of hours and the tenderness was noticeable.

I should re-read her book
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:14 PM   #14
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Here's what Shirley says about dairy marinades:

For true tenderizing, use buttermilk or yogurt


Dairy products are, in my opinion, the only marinades that truly tenderize. Hunters have long known to marinate tough game in milk, Indian recipes use yogurt marinades for lamb and tough goat meat, and some southern cooks soak chicken in buttermilk before frying. Buttermilk and yogurt are only mildly acidic, so they don't toughen the way strongly acidic marinades do. It's not quite clear how the tenderizing occurs, but it seems that calcium in dairy products activates enzymes in meat that break down proteins, a process similar to the way that aging tenderizes meat.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:30 PM   #15
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I've found that marinating tandoori chicken in yogurt for too long (say, overnight, for instance) can give the meat sort of a weird, almost mealy kind of texture. So I absolutely agree there's something about dairy based marinades that affects tenderizing.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:06 PM   #16
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I usually make Chicken Chapli Kebabs the following way ( I never use yogurt) :

-Marinate ground chicken with dry roasted whole cumin and coriander ground to a fine paste in a dry grinder, lime juice, finely chopped onions and green chilis, ginger garlic paste, finely chopped cilantro and mint leaves and let it stand at room temperature for a couple of hours (at least).

-Make small flat pieces out of it and pan fry.

It tastes amazing!
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:41 PM   #17
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Mmmm....Steve and mimi, both of those sound really good. I may have to do up some 'kebabs over the weekend.
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