This recipe for Romanian chicken kabobs/kebabs or frigarui can be made with seasoned chicken only or a combination of chicken and veggies.
Frigarui also can be made with pork or beef and sometimes bacon skewered with onions, peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms, and then grilled.
This popular Romanian street food is typically served with a garlic sauce known as mujdei de usturoi. As you might imagine, there are as many versions of this sauce as there are cooks in Romanian. See a recipe for my version below..
Here is a larger photo of Romanian Chicken Kebabs or Frigarui.
- For the Chicken:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- For the Marinade:
- 1 ounce mixed chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 3 ounces plain yogurt
- For the Garlic Sauce:
- 1 entire head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or olive oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Black pepper to taste
Marinate the Chicken
- In a plastic zip-top bag, combine 1 ounce mixed chopped herbs, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 2 cloves crushed garlic and 3 ounces plain yogurt.
- Add chicken cubes, completely coating all the chicken pieces with marinade, and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, overnight or at least three hours.
Grill the Chicken
- Heat the grill. Thread chicken pieces on skewers that have been soaked in water for about an hour so they don't catch fire on the grill.
- Grill chicken kebabs on greased grates about 10 to 15 minutes or until done, turning several times while cooking.
- These can also be prepared on an indoor grill, under a broiler or in the oven. Serve with the mujjdei de usturoi.
Make the Garlic Sauce
- Cream the garlic with 1 teaspoon salt until it is of a paste consistency, either on a cutting board with a chef's knife or in a mortar and pestle.
- Put the garlic paste in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons oil of choice. Beat with a fork or whisk until it is very well mixed and somewhat fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup sour cream and plenty of black pepper. Mix well.
- This Romanian garlic sauce goes well with any grilled meat or fish, French fries or baked potatoes, pizza or whatever your heart desires.
You Say Kabob, I Say Kebab
It is said that shish kebab, also spelled kabob, kebap, kabab, comes from Turkish and refers to meat threaded on a skewer and grilled (literally, kebab means "skewer.")
Kabobs were born over the open field fires of the soldiers of the Turkic tribes who used their swords to grill meat.
Certainly, spit-roasting meat remains strong among Eastern Europeans. Whole lambs and pigs are twirled over hot coals at special events and on weekends in many communities. Here is more about spit-roasting meats.
But without the proper equipment, many families turn over their spit roasting to a local roaster or store. A simpler version of spit roasting is kabobs/kebabs.
Here are more Eastern European Kabob Recipes you might enjoy.
Another chicken kabob in this collection is the Russian Chicken Kabobs that are marinated in yogurt before grilling.