I’m a huge fan of the kabab. Chicken breasts are fine, but to save a few bucks—and get juicier meat on a stick—go for chicken thighs for the grill.

Cut skinless, boneless thighs into two-bite-sized chunks, and thread them onto skewers. (Metal ones are a good investment, but if you have wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10-15 minutes before loading them up so they are less likely to char on the grill.)  On a hot grill it will take something like 3-5 minutes per side—here’s a more formal recipe, and another, if winging it makes you nervous.

With yogurt-marinated meat, more yogurt

As a salad dressing, yogurt works best with cucumbers—though its creaminess is also stellar on top of grilled vegetables, especially eggplant. And there’s a reason yogurt is eaten in so much of the world: It’s really possible to add whatever herbs and spices you want to it—cumin, coriander, or smoked paprika are great in marinades; a little za’tar adds a Levantine kick to a dip for fresh vegetables.

For an ideal summer meal that is a little off the beaten path from burgers or steaks, I like to mix up a big batch of this yogurt sauce, toss part of it with my cut-up chicken thighs, and let sit in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight. Then I grill the kebabs along with some oil-brushed zucchini and eggplant (halved and criss-cross-scored). I serve it all with the rest of the yogurt sauce, with a handful each of cilantro and mint mixed in, and warm pita bread.

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