Joanne Weir Follow @ChefJoanneWeir

Spice-dusted Chicken Skewers with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

Serves 6

To Drink:  A Cold Beer!


12 bamboo skewers, about 5 to 6-inches long
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 whole cardamom pods
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed whole coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 pounds boned chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cups Greek yogurt
1 ½ tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons harissa paste


Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, place the cumin, coriander, cardamom and fennel seeds in a dry frying pan over medium high heat and shake the pan until aromatic, 30 to 60 seconds. In a spice grinder, grind the spices until crushed, but not a fine dust, in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Add 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place the spice mixture on a dinner plate and shake the plate to distribute evenly.

Remove the skewers from the water and thread the chicken on 6 of the skewers, distributing evenly. Brush the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Dip the skewers into the spice mixture to coat them heavily.

Heat an outdoor charcoal grill and set the grate 4 to 5-inches from the heat source. Alternately you can cook indoors by heating a non-stick ridged grill pan over medium high heat for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the yogurt, ginger, harissa and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill the chicken skewers, turning occasionally, until the chicken is done, 8 to 10 minutes.

To serve, place the skewers on a platter and serve the ginger yogurt alongside in a small bowl.