This was a last minute “what the heck am I going to make for dinner” creation. Part of my post-holiday-season flab-reduction-plan is to try to eat more chicken and turkey and very little red meat. Well, I forgot to take chicken breasts out of the freezer and I didn’t feel like stopping at the grocery store on my way home from the office, so I was forced to get creative with two packages of ground chicken.
Ground chicken is blah in my books. Not good with tomato sauce, and so-so in tacos…I need to jazz these up and keep them dog friendly at the same time.
I had seen kebabs made from ground turkey in one of my new cookbooks that I got for Xmas, and I thought, hmm…that looks interesting. I’ve made shish kebabs tons of times with chicken breast chunks, seafood, and steak, but never ground meat. I’ve had excellent ones in a Persian restaurant, so I thought, perhaps I can take this here ground blah and give it enough spice to make it interesting and still cool to share with The Boys.
Number one and very important – NO ONIONS. This is a key ingredient in most of the recipes you’ll find for these types of kebabs but never cook with onions if feeding to your dogs! The tricky thing is, those very onions, those onions that could make our dogs so very sick, are what gives the bulk of the flavour to something blah like ground chicken on a stick!
So I scratched my head and came up with a plan that actually worked. Here it is.
2 packages of lean ground chicken (these are generally around 0.454 kg)
1 Asian Pear or 1 juicy apple such as Royal Gala or Delicious
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro (you could try replacing with a tsp of dried coriander but I personally love the hit of fresh cilantro my favourite herb!)
3 cloves of garlic (mashed)
Pinch of sea salt
In a large mixing bowl, add the lean ground chicken, and grate in your asian pear or apple. I grated in my three garlic cloves, as my super awesome grater turns it into a mushy paste. If yours isn’t like mine, just chop your garlic and mash it up with the side of your chef knife or whatever you have on hand that will do the trick. Grab a handful of cilantro (about a half cup) and give a rough chop to release some of the sweet grassy goodness. Add to bowl. Then add your teaspoon of cumin, teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt (about a tsp).
Mix this together – use your hands, don’t be a meow!!
Time to make “long flattish balls” (oh come on now, how else can I describe these?!) on your skewers. I have four chef’s pantry skewers that have changed my life! I put two long balls on the skewers and set on your baking tray. I line my tray with foil for this as I’m going to broil these kebabs and that means juices will drip ‘n cook. I despise scrubbing baking trays or anything else for that matter.
Now, Let the flavours marinate together for about a half an hour.
This batch yields about 8 kebabs. You could of course, use bamboo skewers, just soak them in cold water for a bit so they don’t burn before they go in the oven.
Set your oven to broil. Cook on one side for 10 minutes, then flip the skewers, and cook on the other side for 10 minutes.
I used 2 packages ($4), asian pear which was on sale for 25 cents, maybe 10 cents worth of cilantro and the other stuff consists of cheap pantry spices that cost practically nada. So the grand total for the meal was $4.35, and it fed myself, Andy, and The Boys. We ate kebabs for about a buck a body. Well, we had rice with it, but rice is inexpensive, so we’re still under five buckaroos!
Does this recipe and affordable price inspire you to home cook for your dog?
* Please note that I’m neither a vet nor an animal nutritionist, so it’s advisable to consult with your own authority when trying new foods, and also to ensure that your dog’s home cooked diet is balanced & includes all of the nutrients that are necessary for your dog’s health.