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From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of May 27, 2013
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Cypriot Chicken Kebabs

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

The minty dressing makes these delightful kebabs even more special. Easy to prepare, tasty and full of nutritional goodness, the kebabs are the perfect dish to kick off the summer season. These kebabs were inspired by the wonderful eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which has long been a crossing point between Europe, Asia and Africa. It’s not surprising, then, that Cypriot cuisine is a unique blend of many influences.

Marinating the chicken ensures flavorful and juicy kebabs. The blend of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, oregano, garlic and parsley produces the perfect marinade.

Pureed mint and peas give the side dressing an attractive pastel green base. Mint is plentiful during summer and has health protective phytochemicals. Peas, one of summer’s first crops, lend a light earthy quality and healthy fiber to the dressing. Protective garlic, a hint of cumin, and refreshing lemon juice round out this summer dressing.

You can get a jumpstart on this great dish by marinating the chicken overnight. Then simply assemble the kebabs the following day. Serve the kebabs with a garden salad dressed with a basic vinaigrette. Add a side of seasoned black beans. All you have to do is sauté some finely chopped green onions and diced tomato along with minced garlic. Mix this with cooked beans and heat through. The result is a healthy, colorful and appetizing meal.

Chicken Kabobs

Cypriot Chicken Kebabs


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard (spicy brown may be substituted)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 12 oz. chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into 12 even pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces
  • 8 cherry tomatoes


  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas, cooked
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • Juice of one lemon

Whisk together marinade ingredients and set aside 1 tablespoon for basting later. In shallow dish, cover chicken with marinade until well coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Using four kabob skewers, arrange 3 pieces of chicken and 2 pieces each of zucchini, pepper and tomatoes per skewer. For easier grilling, start and end each skewer with chicken.

Coat grill lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Place skewers on medium-hot grill. Turn frequently and brush with reserved marinade. Cook for 18-25 minutes or until juices run clean. Cooking time will depend on size of chicken pieces and temperature. *

In meantime, for dressing, place ingredients in food processor or blender. Puree and set aside.

After removing kabobs from grill, let stand 5 minutes. Serve with dressing on side.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 200 calories, 8 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 10 g carbohydrate,
21 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 105 mg sodium.

*An alternative cooking method is to pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place skewers on shallow baking dish on center rack. Bake 10 minutes. Baste and turn over, baste and bake for additional 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.


The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $100 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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