Being from a hot country with lots of beaches, I've been to thousands of barbecues in my time, and tried pretty much every permutation of the white meat kebab, from the rudimentary to the exotic, so I should know what I'm talking about when I say that these easily make my top 3 outdoor dishes of all time. They were a recent joint effort (K9 came up with the pear bit): the turkey does not dry as much as chicken would, and the long marinading period tenderises it a treat. The pears, apart from tasting fabulous when grilled, provide a great contrast of texture and flavour to the soft and tangy meat. Next time you're having a cookout, try these and I promise you won't be disappointed!

To make approximately 20 kebabs, you'll need:

  • 6 turkey breast fillets (or 3 complete breasts)
  • 6 ripe but firm pears
  • Half a red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 1-2 spoons chopped coriander
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make the marinade the night before, because the longer you leave the meat to marinade the more tender it will be.

  1. Chop the garlic and onion roughly and mix together with the lemon juice, the wine, coriander and seasoning. Whisk in the olive oil (you can use even less oil, as long as you whisk quite vigorously to emulsify it).

  2. Cut the turkey breasts into chunks about an inch square. Layer a tupperware dish with as many of the chunks as you can fit in, then pour some of the marinade over them. Continue in layers until you've all the meat in - for best results the marinade should almost completely cover the meat. You could do this in a bowl, but after 24 hours your fridge will reek of garlic!

  3. Just before you're ready to cook (at least 6 hours after you've put the turkey away to marinade), peel the pears and cut them into chunks, slightly smaller than the turkey ones. There's no need to core them, it all cooks down beautifully.

  4. If you're using standard wooden skewers, you'll need to have no more than 2-3 pieces of turkey and pear (alternating them, obviously) for each. Overcrowding leads to uneven cooking which can be dangerous with poultry. Cook over white-hot coals for about 10 minutes, turning once or twice.

These kebabs are so juicy and full of flavour that they don't really need any sauce or salsa. I served them wrapped in flour tortillas, but you could of course incorporate them into whatever your BBQ menu happens to be. Enjoy!


Update: We had a barbecue in our garden recently, and about half of the guests were muslim - so I couldn't very well use wine in the marinade (though I nearly did, I'm so blonde sometimes). I upped the lemon juice to 3 large lemons instead, and added a bit more olive oil. The end result did lack that special something of the original, but was still very very nice, not sour at all and very tender. So if you can't use booze for whatever reason, don't be put off this great recipe.

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