chicken and vegetable shish kabob gluten free!

 When my husband brags that I am a great cook it's more than a little embarrassing. Mainly because I am not a GREAT cook rather a good home cook and I cater to the picky. The most exotic ingredient in my kitchen is saffron. There's never anything braised, sous-vide, or even rotisseried served from my kitchen.

Aside from most dinners being gluten free the variations of dinners here are a little boring- chicken and rice done in various ethnic ways- BBQ chicken and saffron rice (not sure how this is ethnic or even how the two items go together but....)
Asian chicken cut up for lettuce wraps with fried rice, chicken sliced thin and seasoned for fajitas with tomato-saffron-ish type rice, chicken fried and served with another version of saffron rice, and a crowd favorite is........ chicken cut and seasoned for shish kabob with yes another saffron rice iteration.

I used to spend a huge amount of time organizing and spearing the vegetables and chicken on long thin wooden skewers. Then one day I noticed that everyone  immediately took off the chicken and vegetables which I painstakingly placed on the sticks. In addition I had to soak the wooden sticks for hours so they wouldn't burn on the grill.

The old adage "necessity is the mother of invention" came around the same time I learned the term de-constructed as it related to food.  I ran out of wooden sticks- the ones I thought were in the bottom drawer- WEREN'T!

I had an Oprah ah-ha moment...don't put the damn chicken and vegetables on the skewer! How brilliant and what a time saver!  The prep takes around 30 minutes so make enough for left overs! This chicken and vegetable dish is made in a large skillet, no grill necessary!

chicken shish kabob, saffron rice and za'atar seasoning

4 people


  • 2 lbs chicken tenders
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 package small yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups uncle bens white rice
  • 1/4 cup za'atar seasoning (or seasoned pepper and salt)

for za'atar

  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac*
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • available at speciality spice shops*

saffron rice

  • 2 cups uncle bens white rice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 1/2 gram saffrom threads
  • few tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic


  • wash and pat dry the chicken. cut the tenders into small cubes, approximately 1" sizes. Season with olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, salt and pepper- cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours
  • cut bell peppers and sweet onion into 1" squares- season with olive oil, salt and pepper- set aside or refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • when you are ready to cook, drizzle 1 Tablespoon olive oil into a large 12' fry pan over medium heat and crush one large clove. add the cut vegetables and sauté until vegetables are browned. The last few minutes of cooking add a heaping tablespoon of za'atar seasoning into the pan and stir to coat. take the vegetables out of the pan and set aside- you can use the same pan for the chicken.
  • Using the same pan from the chicken (assuming it isn't too burnt) drizzle 1Tablespoon olive oil into a large 12' fry pan over medium heat and crush one large clove garlic into the oil. Immediately when the oil begins to get hot add the chicken and cover the entire pan with a lid.
  • Cook the chicken approximately 7 minutes, taking off the lid. When the chicken is brown turn it over and brown the opposite side.
  • The last few minutes add a generous amount of the za'atar seasoning and toss to coat the chicken.
  • To serve arrange the chicken and vegetables over a plate of saffron rice- enjoy!

homemade za'atar

  • toss all ingredients and store in a glass jar. keeps at room temperature for 4-6 weeks.

saffron rice

  • in a large sauté pan sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, add chopped peppers, onion and garlic- season with salt and pepper. add the saffron and mix thru. when vegetables are translucent add 2 cups rice.
  • stir the rice and vegetables, adding 1 additional tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • when the rice begins to brown and look a little crispy, add your liquid- 4 cups total 2 cups at a time- either vegetable stock or water. 4 cups total liquid for 2 cups of rice.
IMG 4817
de constructed chicken k-bob!
IMG 0363
Za'atar seasoning for the k-bobs 

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