An Easy Grill Favorite
Chicken Kabobs with Lemon & Thyme Recipe by Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck Recipes - Recipes from Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen
By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Media Services
Grilling season is in full force! I know this all too well, because people are already asking me for easy ideas that will help them create something new, different, delicious, and impressive when they cook outdoors.
One excellent strategy is to make kabobs. Cut into bite-sized or slightly larger chunks and threaded onto metal, wood, or bamboo skewers, food cooks quickly and evenly on the grill. Kabobs, a Middle Eastern term now used almost worldwide, also enable you to get creative, combining a variety of ingredients -- proteins along with fresh vegetables or even fruits -- in single, beautiful portions that offer a medley of different flavors, textures, and colors. And they're so quick and simple to assemble, helping you look like a creative grill chef with hardly any effort at all.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are among the easiest meats to use for kabobs. It's a quick job to cut them into the chunks for the skewer, and their mild flavor welcomes a wide range of herbs and spices. You can alternate the chicken pieces on their skewers with such customary vegetables as pieces of onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms, all cut to the same approximate size as the meat; or get creative, as I do in the accompanying recipe, and skewer wedges of lemon, which add their own zesty flavor to the kabobs and can be squeezed warm over the chicken before you eat it. The recipe works well with shrimp, scallops, fish fillets, or any other tender meat such as beef steak, lamb, or pork.
Whatever you put on the skewer, be sure to leave small gaps between the pieces so that the grill's heat can penetrate for quicker, more even cooking. I like to use metal skewers that have flattened blades, which prevent the food pieces from spinning around when you're trying to turn them. Alternatively, you can pass two thinner parallel skewers through the food to keep them stable. If you use bamboo or wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before threading on the food, so the skewers will be less likely to burn on the grill.
I like to serve these kabobs on top of some sort of salad to soak up their juices. Mixed baby greens work well. But if you want to make an even bigger impression on your guests, try a quick salad based on instant couscous, the popular North African grain-shaped pasta, available in most well-stocked supermarkets. You can make the salad up to a day ahead of time, letting it come back to room temperature before serving. Then, spread it on a platter and arrange all the grilled kabobs on top to make a really big impression.
CHICKEN KABOBS WITH LEMON AND THYME - Wolfgang Puck Recipe
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
2 lemons, each cut into 4 wedges
CHICKEN KABOBS WITH LEMON AND THYME Preparation
In medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Place in large, heavy-duty sealable plastic food-storage bag.
Using a fork, pierce each chicken breast all over several times to help the marinade penetrate. Cut each chicken breast into 8 large, equally sized chunks. Put the marinade mixture in the plastic bag; add the chicken, seal the bag, and move the pieces around to coat them thoroughly. Put the bag in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
Preheat the grill. Meanwhile, thread the chicken chunks onto 8 skewers, including a lemon wedge in the middle of each skewer.
Grill the kabobs until the chicken is nicely brown and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, turning the kabobs once. Serve on a bed of Couscous Salad (recipe follows).
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups good-quality canned chicken broth
10 ounces dry instant couscous
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 small red onion, cut into small dice
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice
1 red bell pepper, halved, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and cut into small dice
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Put the couscous in a large, heatproof bowl. Stir in the salt and cinnamon. Pour the boiling broth over the couscous, stir briefly, cover the bowl, and leave it at room temperature for 5 minutes. Uncover the bowl and, with a table fork, fluff the couscous to separate its grains. Leave it to cool completely to room temperature.
In another large bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, red onion, cucumber, bell pepper, and green onions. Add the cooled couscous and toss until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the cilantro leaves. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve at room temperature.
More Gourmet Wolfgang Puck Recipes from Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen
Summer Cantaloupe Salad with Prosciutto, Burrata and Ice Wine Dressing Recipe (Wolfgang Puck)
Cool Off with Cantaloupe. Thanks to modern airfreight, you can find melons in stores year round. I think many Americans take cantaloupe for granted. The Italians have always seemed to have a better understanding of cantaloupe's potential.
Wolfgang Puck Recipes Grilled Tandoori Lamb Chops
Many popular ethnic cuisines -- Italian, Greek, North African, Middle Eastern -- all do wonderful things with
lamb. But to me, the lamb recipes of the Indian kitchen really stand out, featuring wonderfully fragrant spices
that harmonize beautifully with the meat's sweet, rich flavor. My favorite Indian way of cooking lamb is in the style
Wolfgang Puck Recipes Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp with Apricot Mustard Sauce
Shrimp are such an excellent choice to start a summer grill party. Almost everyone loves them, and the hint of smoky flavor they get from the fire goes well with their naturally sweet taste. They're easy to prepare and cook quickly on the grill, so very little extra work yields a rapid, positive payoff.
Wolfgang Puck Recipe Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad
In cooking, as in life, sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest to get absolutely right. For proof, look no further than one of the most popular appetizers in restaurants everywhere at this time of year: Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad.
But how you select each main ingredient can impact the final results. Make the wrong choices, and you might wonder why everyone raves about the salad. Do it the right way, and everyone you serve it to will say you're the best cook ever.
Wolfgang Puck Recipes Grilled Tuna with Tomato-Mint Vinaigrette
Grilled Fish as good as steak. We're beginning to reach that point in summer when I regularly start telling people they ought to be grilling fish. Fish fillets are another matter. And meat lovers need not feel like they're missing out when fish stars on the menu.
Wolfgang Puck Recipes Asian Coleslaw and Smashed Red-Skinned Potato Salad
Side dishes such as Asian Coleslaw and Smashed Red-Skinned Potato Salad are an important part of backyard entertaining. Made in advance and fairly easy to prepare, these are the recipes that let creative home cooks excel in the open air. After all, anyone can sprinkle salt and pepper on a hamburger. Not everyone, however, can produce a side that has people coming back for seconds and thirds.
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries
Refreshingly cool, smooth, and silken, panna cotta is one of the best desserts for summer or at any time. And it's so easy. Flavored with a touch of vanilla, it's a perfect complement to fresh summer berries.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers Tempura
One of the best reasons for going to the farmers' market is the chance it offers to find fresh seasonal items not ordinarily sold in supermarkets. Zucchini flowers are a perfect example.
Fresh Cherries Jubilee
Usually, just rinsing cherries with cool water and putting it in a bowl does nicely. Sometimes, though,
it's fun to do a little bit more, like putting it into a fruit salad, cobbler, or pie. Or you can
take a page out of the book of the great French chef Auguste Escoffier and make Cherries Jubilee.
Mediterranean Shrimp & Pasta Salad
In the 1980s, pasta salads were all the rage. Today, pasta salads can seem like a bit of an afterthought. Well, I'm here to tell you, without hesitation, that I still love pasta salads.
Grilled Salmon Sandwich
When it comes to grilling, most people still think of quickly cooked burgers, sausages, steaks, or chicken breasts, or more slowly, gently cooked ribs, brisket, or turkey breasts. But I'd like to suggest expanding your horizons with something that's quick and easy to grill: salmon fish fillets.
Lamb Chops with Shallot Cream Sauce
Since the early days of Spago, one of my favorite ways to offer lamb chops has been to saute them and then prepare a quick pan sauce with chopped shallots, vinegar, white wine and cream, a recipe I first learned back in the early 1970s at Oustau de Baumaniere in the south of France.
Vanilla Pound Cake with Raspberry Compote
One of the ways you know that you've given the perfect gift is when the person who receives it wants to enjoy it again and again. By that definition, pound cake is an ideal treat for you to prepare for your mom, or your children's mom, this Mother's Day.
Three-Cheese Quesadillas and Classic Guacamole
I like to make my own cheese quesadilla by sandwiching three different kinds of cheese between two tortillas
and then frying it in a little olive oil. The result is a uniformly golden-brown quesadilla that delivers the
full nutlike flavor and crunchy texture of the tortillas. I serve it with a classic version of guacamole, the
popular Mexican dip of mashed avocado and seasonings. Add some fresh tomato salsa and you've got the perfect
combination of Mexican flavors and colors, an ideal treat for celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
Thai Flavors Wolfgang Puck's Pork Loin with Thai Sauce and Papaya Salad Recipe
One of my favorite surprises as a chef, and also as someone who loves
delicious, beautifully cooked food, has been the growing popularity of
Asian cuisine. I quickly fell in love with Thai cuisine and its combinations of seasonings offering dishes like
Pork Loin with Thai Sauce and Papaya Salad on the menu at Spago.
Wolfgang Puck's Greek Salad with Shrimp Recipe Recipe
Many chefs invent new recipes by playing around with the classics. I like to take a dish with which everyone is familiar and look for ways to modify it for today's tastes. I might try to change how the dish is served, taking an appetizer or a side dish, for example, and transforming it into a main course. Or I'll take a rustic recipe and make it more elegant.
Wolfgang Puck's New York Steak with Wasabe Sauce Recipe
When it comes to cooking at home steak seems more seasonal. People wait until the weather is warm enough for them to throw steaks on the outdoor grill. And that's a shame, because steaks are actually easy to cook indoors.
Wolfgang Puck's PIZZA WITH SCRAMBLED EGGS AND SMOKED SALMON
If you're trying to think of something different but perfect to serve for Easter brunch this year, or for brunch any time you want to surprise your guests, let me suggest pizza.
Pizza? But I'm not talking here about the usual pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, and maybe pepperoni. I mean a pizza that is really ideal for a weekend morning meal.
Wolfgang Puck's Pan-Roasted Chicken with Whole-Grain Mustard and Port Recipe
Step-by-step Instructions for preparing one of Wolfgang Puck's favorite chicken recipes.
You know a recipe you've cooked is a classic when people remember it and crave it years, or even decades, after they first ate it. That's what happened with me recently when an old friend, a business mogul who had lived in London for many years and just moved back to California, stopped by for dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills.
Wolfgang Puck's SPAETZLE WITH GRUYERE AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS Recipe
Step-by-step Instructions for preparing Wolfgang Puck's SPAETZLE WITH GRUYERE AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS recipe.
So many people still seem to believe that pasta is strictly Italian. Yes, they know that central Europeans and Asians eat all kinds of noodles. But noodles are noodles, they think, and pasta is pasta.
Wolfgang Puck's Fettuccine with Clams Recipe
Step-by-step Instructions for preparing one of Wolfgang Puck's favorite seafood pasta recipes.
Fortunately for me, we lived in southern Austria, not far from Italy. So, when I did eat shellfish, I got to know one of the world's best ways to prepare them: as the Italians do, quickly cooked with olive oil and butter, white wine, lots of garlic, and a pinch of hot pepper flakes, then tossed with pasta.
Wolfgang Puck's Chunky Chicken Pot Pie Soup Recipe
Step-by-step Instructions for preparing one of Wolfgang Puck's Chicken Pot Pie recipe.
Yes, I call it a soup, mainly because I like to serve it in a soup bowl. But the soup is so chockfull of chicken and vegetables, all coated in a thick and creamy broth, that if you ladled it into shallower bowls or plates you could be forgiven for swearing it was a delicious stew.
Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck
The world-renowned chef with an extraordinary passion for food now shares that passion in Wolfgang
Puck's Kitchen. Puck makes great cooking easier than you ever imagined. He reveals how to turn common ingredients into uncommon masterpieces. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe-exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable. Moves with color photos.
About Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck, in the eyes of food lovers and experts alike, is one of the most famous chefs in America and arguably the world. He has spawned a culinary empire that includes a fine dining group of 12 internationally acclaimed restaurants in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Maui; an extensive catering & events business with bases in Hollywood and Chicago, famed as official caterer to the Governors Ball following the Oscars; as well as Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc., a corporation that controls, licenses, and franchises the Wolfgang Puck brand in a wide variety of business activities, including casual Wolfgang Puck Cafes, fast-casual Wolfgang Puck Expresses, consumer packaged foods, cookware, book publishing, television, and the Internet.
For the first time, Puck shares his expert, easy-to-master approach to cooking in the newspaper arena through WOLFGANG PUCK?S KITCHEN, a newspaper column syndicated by Tribune Media Services.
The Austrian-born Puck began his formal training at age 14, inspired by his mother, Maria, a hotel chef. He left Europe for America in 1973 at the age of 24, having already worked in the master kitchens of three-star French restaurants. In 1975, Puck moved to Los Angeles, and soon was both chef and part-owner of Ma Maison. It quickly became a magnet for the rich and famous, with Puck as star attraction. Since then, he has changed the way Americans cook and eat by fusing formal French techniques and Asian- and California-influenced esthetics with the highest quality ingredients.
After the 1981 publication of the first of his five cookbooks, Puck, in partnership with designer Barbara Lazaroff, opened Spago. Located in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip, it was an instant success and culinary phenomenon from its opening day in 1982. Although the original location closed in 2000, three years after the successful opening of Spago Beverly Hills, Spago Hollywood today is remembered internationally as a legendary haven for entertainment, political and social luminaries.
In 2000, Puck developed his own "Wolfgang Puck" television show, which began airing on the Food Network in January 2001. The show features Puck sharing his cooking expertise with a studio audience who joins him in his kitchen, along with field documentary segments in which he explores the vast and diverse world of food, from farms to artisan workshops to restaurants, and visits with such luminaries as Julia Child, Robert Mondavi and Paul Bocuse. "Wolfgang Puck" was awarded a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Service Show in 2002.
Puck also appears regularly on ABC's "Good Morning America," sharing his latest creations. He has been a guest on a multitude of other shows, including "The Late Show with David Letterman," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Entertainment Tonight," "ABC News with Peter Jennings," "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," "Frasier," and "The Simpsons." In 2001, the A&E Network featured Puck's life on its popular "Biography" series.
Puck and partner Barbara Lazaroff are actively involved in many philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations, including their own Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation, established in 1982, which supports the annual American Wine & Food Festival to benefit Meals-on-Wheels.
Puck lives in Beverly Hills. He and Barbara Lazaroff have two sons, Cameron and Byron.
(c) 2008 WOLFGANG PUCK WORLDWIDE, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
More Food Recipes
Give Your Fiesta a Juicy Twist
Lightened-Up Pulled Pork With California Raisins
Servings: 8 to 10 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 5 - 10 hours
Grilled Ratatouille Soup
Try this hearty soup as a lunch or dinner appetizer.
Servings: 6 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes
Tomato Moroccan Stew
A hearty beef stew, also perfect for reheating as a healthy lunch.
Servings: 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
Omelets Are a Simple Meal Solution (Cherry Tomato and Portobello Omelet)
You can prepare each family member an omelet filled with his or her favorite foods in a matter of minutes for a morning, mid-day or evening meal.
Serve a Simple, Satisfying Meal: Poached Eggs on Roasted Veggies
Pristine poached eggs - served in cups, on toast, or dressed up in a Benedict variation - are a favorite day-starter for dieters, treat-seekers and everyone in between.
Speed Cook With an International Flair (Huevos Revueltos a la Mexicana)
Mexican scrambled eggs (or Huevos Revueltos a la Mexicana) are flavored to suit local tastes. All variations start with a mixture of fresh tomato and chilies
Entertain Easily with a Strata (Ham and Asparagus Strata)
Serve a strata (or two or three) with the appetite appeal of ham and eggs and the colorful addition of asparagus, or flavor the strata with foods your guests especially like or you have on hand.
Not Your Grandma's Chicken Soup
A new twist to the age-old chicken soup-combining the healing power of tea and chicken soup-a must-have in your recipe repertoire.
Baked Brie with California Raisins
Try this easy and delicious raisin recipe for your next holiday party. California Raisins, port wine and rich pecans make a decadent filling for Brie cheese wrapped in a warm, flaky puff pastry.
Sandra Lee Makes Your Gathering a Little Sweeter (Chocolate Cherry Crumble)
Whether it's milk or dark, white or semi-sweet, chocolate has a knack for pleasing many as a satisfying after-dinner treat. Chocolate also contains a wealth of health benefits that only make it more attractive for guilt-free consumption.
Warm the Heart with a Sweet Treat
Make everyone's taste buds quiver with a raspberry sweet treat.
Tired of Salsa? Take a Dip on the Green Side
Dip made with avocados is an ideal snack. That's right, ditch the salsa and opt for a creamy dip that's easy to whip up, tastes great with chips or veggies and can be made ahead of time.
"The World's Best Crab Cakes"
We call our local cuisine "Southern Regional," and many of our chefs feature the bounty of the Chesapeake and Shenandoah. The following local recipe favorite will give you a taste of what Washington DC offers
Herb Marinated Grilled Steaks
With the arrival of warmer weather comes the promise of one of America's greatest traditions: the outdoor barbecue.
Burger Tips for Barbecue Success (GREEK GOURMET BURGER)
Burgers, the quintessential barbecue fare, are among America's all-time favorite foods. For variety, top them with unconventional fixings, such as avocado slices, arugula, salsa and fresh basil.
Citrus 101: Add Zest to Your Health with Citrus (Rio Star Mini Cheesecakes & Rio Star Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
One of the healthiest kinds of citrus fruits is the grapefruit. In season from October through May of each year, tangy, juicy grapefruit complements many other foods, making it easy to pair with other items.
And while many people choose to eat grapefruit by itself, it is also great when combined with other healthy foods.
Parents Make Time for Healthy Choices
Many health care professionals stress the significance of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and organic food items for children.