Recipe courtesy of Elena Besser

Miso-Yogurt Chicken Skewers with Green Olives and Dates

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
The key to the juiciest chicken? A yogurt marinade! Yogurt in the marinade makes chicken thighs super tender while the miso makes them flavorful. The seared chicken is paired with spiced couscous and a mixture of sauteed onions, olives and dates. The best part? The miso-yogurt mixture also doubles as a dipping sauce. Feel free to swap in chicken breasts for the thighs, if you prefer white meat.



Special equipment:
8 metal, wooden or bamboo skewers
  1. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak 8 in water for at least 15 minutes before threading to ensure they don’t burn.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the chicken thighs in half lengthwise. Season both sides with salt and set aside. 
  3. Stir together the yogurt, garlic, miso, honey, lemon zest, half of the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large bowl. Reserve half of the mixture in a separate small bowl to use as a dipping sauce. Add the chicken to the large bowl, toss to combine and let marinate while you prepare the remaining ingredients (see Cook’s Note).  
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the olives and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the dates and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the remaining lemon juice. Stir to combine and set aside.  
  5. Melt the butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds, cumin seeds and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous and a generous 4-finger pinch of salt. Cover, remove from the heat and let the couscous sit until all the liquid has been absorbed, 5 to 6 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 
  6. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy skillet, griddle or grill pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Thread the chicken onto 8 skewers. Spread any marinade left in the bowl over the chicken so it's evenly covered. Drizzle with olive and evenly coat the surface with a brush or paper towel. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook, turning the skewers every 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes. If the chicken sticks to the pan, wait to move it until it releases easily.  
  7. Divide the skewers among plates. Put a generous scoop of couscous on each and top the couscous with the onion mixture. Place a dollop of the reserved yogurt sauce alongside, for dipping. Enjoy! 

Cook’s Note

If you have extra time, marinate the chicken for up to 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.