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Herb-Marinated Chicken Skewers with Harissa

Yield 4
Andres Barrera briefly marinates chicken in herbs and cumin before skewering and grilling it; then he serves it with a cool chickpea puree and fiery harissa. His harissa is a knockout, scented with toasted and ground cumin seeds, coriander and caraway seeds, but jarred harissa also works.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 roasted red peppers from a jar, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red Thai chile, with seeds chopped
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Hummus, for serving

How to Make It

  1. Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, mix the olive oil with the rosemary, thyme, oregano and ground cumin. Add the chicken and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, Make the Harissa: In a small skillet, toast the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds over moderately high heat, shaking the skillet a few times, until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Grind to a powder.

  3. In a blender, combine the roasted peppers with the chile, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and ground spices and puree. Season the harissa with salt.

  4. Light a grill. Thread the chicken pieces onto 8 metal skewers. Season with salt and grill over moderately high heat, turning, until nicely charred and just cooked, about 14 minutes. Serve the skewers with the harissa and hummus.