Heston's chicken kebab and quinoa salad

"A simple dish with Middle Eastern roots that's light and fresh. Brining your chicken is a small step that makes a big difference, helping to ensure the meat stays moist and succulent. Pop the chicken pieces in salty water, come back a few hours later, rinse and dry them and thread onto sticks along with pieces of lemon and pepper and they're ready for the barbecue. It's that easy. A swiftly assembled tabbouleh salad is the perfect mezze-style accompaniment for this. Traditionally it’s made just with bulghur wheat but I’ve added in quinoa, a seed that makes an excellent replacement for grain and contains no starch, so it's very light." Heston


8% brine (1kg cold tap water and 80g salt mixed together)
8 British chicken thighs fillets, cut into cubes
10g cornflour
1 red pepper, cut into 4 cm pieces
1 green pepper, cut into 4 cm pieces
1 lemon, cut into 8 slices
60g caster sugar
500g pack Heston from Waitrose Chicken Stock
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and 45ml of juice
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2g salt
1 clove garlic, minced
120g quinoa
2 large Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
25g pack fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
80g fresh tomato, small dice


1. Place the 8% brine in a bowl big enough to contain the chicken thighs. Add the chicken to the brine and leave covered with clingfilm in the bowl in the fridge for 5 hours. Then remove the chicken and discard the brine. Rinse the chicken under cold running water for 5 minutes, pat dry with kitchen towel. Using 8 skewers, alternate chicken thigh cubes with the pepper and lemon pieces. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge until needed.

2. While the chicken is in the brine, mix the cornflour with 10ml (2 tsp) of water until well combined. Place the sugar, 80g of chicken stock,the lemon zest and juice, rice wine vinegar, salt, garlic in a pan over medium-high heat and allow to come to boil. Add the cornflour mixture, allow to boil for 30 seconds or until it thickens.

3. To cook the quinoa, mix 500ml water with the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the quinoa and cook over a low heat until tender, drain using a fine sieve and spread evenly onto a tray lined with parchment paper to allow to cool completely.

4. Place the eggs in pan and cover with cold water, place the pan over medium-high heat and once it comes to a boil, cook for 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and place in an iced water bath to cool completely. Once cold, peel the eggs, remove the white and chop into small cubes. Pass the yolk through a fine sieve. Reserve both.

5. To finish the salad, mix the cooked quinoa, cooked and chopped egg whites, cooked and passed egg yolks, chopped parsley, remaining lemon zest and juice and tomato, until well combined. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper.

6. Brush the kebabs with the sauce and place on a barbecue or grill for 20 minutes until cooked throughout (with no pink meat), basting with the sauce. Serve the chicken kebabs with the quinoa salad.

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes plus brining
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes plus brining

Serves: 4

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 2359.776kJ
Fat 21.9g
Saturated Fat 5.9g
Carbohydrate 44.7g
Sugars 21.8g
Salt 1.6g

47.1g protein, 4.2g fibre

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2 stars

Average user rating Based on 11 ratings

This recipe was first published in Tue Jul 30 15:17:00 BST 2013.