Recipe: Saffron-Marinated Chicken Skewers From the Kitchen Window column
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Saffron-Marinated Chicken Skewers

(Kesari Malai Tikka)

For a beautiful presentation, use extra-long skewers and stand them in a slim-necked vase.

Sala Kannan for NPR
Saffron-Marinated Chicken Skewers
Sala Kannan for NPR

Makes 6 servings, 2 or 3 skewers per person

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt, drained*

2 tablespoons finely ground almonds

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground white pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk

2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes

Combine the yogurt cheese, almonds, cheddar, ginger, lemon juice, pepper, salt, saffron and milk in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix to thoroughly coat. Cover and refrigerate for 5 to 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain chicken and discard any remaining marinade. Thread the chicken onto skewers, 4 or 5 pieces per skewer.

Lay the skewers on a nonstick baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Turn over. Roast another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and juices run clear. Serve hot.

* To drain the yogurt: Place a colander over a medium bowl. Line the colander with several layers of cheesecloth. Place yogurt in cheesecloth. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, until whey has drained out (overnight works best).