Harissa-marinated chicken skewers (pargiyot)

Adapted from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook

Serves 4

This very easy Israeli dish is is wonderful grilled outside over charcoal, but you can also make it indoors on a cast-iron stove-top grill. Using chicken thighs results in a dish that's tender and super-flavorful. Harissa is available in tubes or jars at supermarkets with well-stocked international sections. 

1 1/2 cups roughly chopped onions

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup harissa 

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

1. Combine the onions, canola oil, harissa, lemon juice and salt in the jar of a blender or bowl of a food processor, and blend or process until the mixture is smooth and about as thick as a milkshake. Add a tablespoon or two of water if necessary to get the right consistency. 

2. Place the chicken cubes in a zip-top bag, add the marinade and close the bag. Let the chicken marinate, refrigerated, at least four hours or up to two days.

3. When you're ready to grill, wipe the excess marinade off the chicken chunks, thread them onto skewers and grill them over hot coals, turning every few minutes, until the chicken has lightly charred on the exterior and is cooked through, about 8 minutes total. Alternatively, grill them on a hot stovetop cast-iron grill or outdoor gas grill, cooking the same way for about 10 or 12 minutes, until the meat is lightly charred and cooked through.