Djej Mechoui – Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Moroccan Spices

The unique tang of preserved lemon and fiery harissa sauce combine well with chicken kebabs cooked on the BBQ.


Djej Mechoui - Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Moroccan Spices
Cuisine: Moroccan
Recipe type: Kebabs
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 preserved lemons, quartered, pithy flesh removed and discarded
  • 2 tablespoons (heaped) chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • good pinch of saffron threads
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 kg boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thigh fillets , cut into 2½ cm chunks
  • 2 small red onions
  • flatbreads, to serve
  • For the dressing!
  • ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons harissa paste, to taste
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Finely chop 4 of the preserved lemon quarters and place in a bowl. Add the parsley, garlic, paprika, cumin, turmeric, saffron and olive oil. Season to taste and stir until well combined. Add the chicken, stir to coat well, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight if time permits.
  2. Cut the remaining preserved lemons quarters lengthwise each into 3-4 strips, depending on their size. Cut the red onions into similar-sized pieces. Thread the lemon, then onion and chicken alternately onto long metal skewers– you’ll need 8 skewers in total.
  3. Heat a barbecue or heavy-based ridged frying pan until smoking hot. Cook the kebabs, turning occasionally, for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through and just beginning to char around the edges.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine well.
  5. Serve the kebabs on hot flatbreads with a good drizzle of dressing.

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