Chicken with cucumber, also known as Chicken Kebab is a popular dish served in the Middle East and Europe. It is grilled or pan-fried on skewers and served with a pomegranate-based dip and garlic sauce on the side.
I love chicken, but for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why it always tastes better when a restaurant makes it. The real answer is that it’s cooked perfectly. In this article, I’ll be getting into the science of cooking to educate you on different techniques that are used to cook yummy chicken.
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EASY CHICKEN WITH CUCUMBER
Whenever I feel like making something simple and comforting, this easy chicken with cucumber will always come to my mind. I usually like to enjoy it with a bowl of hot white rice.
Here is a tip on making sure the cucumber stays crispy. Simply sprinkle a touch of salt onto the cucumber cubes and then massage them with your hand to make sure the salt is well mixed with the cucumber. Wait for a few minutes and later drain the water that came out of the cucumber.
Chicken with cucumber
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cucumber, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- For marinating the cucumber:
- a touch of salt
- For marinating the chicken:
- 1 teaspoon potato starch
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- For cooking :
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- Whisk the hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and cooking wine, and set aside.
- Massage the cucumber with a touch of salt and set aside for 5 minutes, drain excessive water.
- While waiting for the cucumber, marinate the chicken with potato starch and cook wine for about 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir fry for about 2 minutes until the chicken has changed color.
- Stir in the cucumber, and stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes.
- Set aside stir-fried chicken and cucumber into a container.
- Turn the heat back down to low heat, add the sauce we made in step 1 into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, gently stirring to avoid burning.
- Turn to medium heat, add chicken and cucumber back into the pan and stir fry for another 2 minutes, make sure the sauce is well mixed with the ingredients.
- Serve and enjoy!
Marinating the cucumber cubes with a touch of salt before cooking could help make them more crispy.
Marinating chicken breast cubes with potato starch and cooking wine could help make the chicken more tender.
Cucumber Chicken is an Asian Stir Fry Dish featuring tender chicken and chunks of cucumber in a spicy garlic sauce. Serve it over Jasmine rice to complete the meal.
This recipe for Cucumber Chicken is one of my favorites that I have been eating for a long time.
Cucumber Chicken Recipe
I first had it at my Aunt and Uncle’s house when I lived with them for the summer while working as a lab helper at the age of 15 in their Pharmacology lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
It was my first job as a teenager and such a great experience I came back the next summer. I always liked to help out in the kitchen as a child, but it was there that I got involved in cooking.
We cooked a lot together, ate a lot together, and had a lot of fun. Sometimes I cooked dinner by myself for the three of us because I got home from work before they did. Such fun!
I tried a lot of new things for the first time that summer. It was my first time eating real, authentic Indian food. My first time eating feta cheese or fresh mozzarella. It was even my first time having Pesto Sauce.
I came home with all sorts of things that I wanted to cook for my parents and siblings, and my mom was only too happy to let me take over some of the cooking.
I believe the original book the Cucumber Chicken came from was out of print at the time we first made this together and I’m not even sure what the book was called, so naturally, this recipe is recreation because along the way I lost the recipe I wrote down.
Cornstarch wasn’t an original ingredient, but I added it for a slightly thickened sauce. Salting the cucumbers helps rid them of excess moisture.
What Readers are Saying About this Cucumber Chicken Recipe
This was amazing!! The prep took me a bit of time but the cooking part made up for it, so short and to the point! I didn’t have any cooking sherry so I substituted this with mirin and still turned out delicious. This might be a dinner staple for my family. Thank you.
YIELD: SERVES 6
PREP TIME: 45 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 5 MINUTES
Cucumber Garlic Chicken is an Asian Stir Fry Dish featuring tender chicken and chunks of cucumber in a spicy garlic sauce. Serve it over Jasmine rice to complete the meal.
- 2 large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 English Cucumbers
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbs Oil
- 5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/4 c Soy Sauce
- 1/4 c Cooking Sherry
- 1 – 2 tsp Chili Powder, depending on heat level
- 2 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce
- 1 tsp Corn Starch
- 1 bunch of Green Onions, sliced
- Prepared Jasmine Rice, for serving
- Peel cucumber and half long ways, then scrape out seeds with a spoon and cut them into small chunks.
- Sprinkle cucumber with salt, and set aside in a colander for 20 minutes.
- Combine garlic, soy sauce, sherry, chili powder, chili garlic sauce, and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Slice chicken thin and at an angle. Add chicken to sauce and let soak.
- Slice green onions.
- After cucumbers have sat in a colander for 20 minutes, rinse and pat dry.
- Heat oil in a pan (test by sprinkling a drop of water – if it sizzles, it is ready), add chicken with sauce, and cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, stirring regularly.
- Add cucumber and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Stir in green onion.
- Serve immediately with rice
Lemon Chicken Breasts with Cucumber Feta Salad
Say goodbye to dull, dry chicken breasts. This recipe makes chicken that’s unbelievably tender, juicy, and flavorful. The salad is delicious, too. It’s effortless to make with cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, and an easy lemon dill dressing. You can even make it ahead of time.
Four Steps for Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts are a staple in most kitchens, including ours. Read below for our tips for making sure they are juicy and flavorful.
Even the simplest marinade can make a huge difference — marinated chicken becomes moist, juicy, and flavorful. Just 20 minutes in a marinade will make a difference. You could leave it for longer, but there is no need to go past 2 hours for chicken breasts (a whole chicken can marinate overnight). A resealable plastic bag or small rimmed dish makes marinating easy, too.
For this recipe, we went with a simple marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, fresh dill, salt, and pepper. The lemon and dill work nicely with the light cucumber feta salad, but you could switch lemon for lime or dill for other herbs if you wanted.
Sear Until Golden
After 20 to 30 minutes of marinating, remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry — this helps with getting that golden sear when we cook. Whenever you sear meat, especially chicken, you must pat everything dry. If the chicken were still wet from the marinade, the chicken breasts would steam, not sear.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add some olive oil (or other fat like vegetable oil, coconut oil, or a combination of butter and oil). As soon as the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden.
Cover, Turn Heat to Low
Once golden on one side, flip the chicken and turn down the heat to low. Then cover and walk away — you want to let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, there is no need to open the lid or flip the chicken. The chicken breasts become moist, juicy, and plump. While the chicken cooks, you can make the cucumber feta salad.
Let It Rest
The last step — Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. As the chicken rests, the juices redistribute. This way, when you cut into the chicken, all the juices stay in the meat instead of running out on the plate or cutting board.
Once the chicken has rested, slice it up and serve with the salad. Don’t forget to spoon extra dressing from the bottom of the salad bowl on top — that’s gold!
Recipe updated, originally posted June 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
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Lemon Chicken Breasts with Cucumber Feta Salad
- PREP 40mins
- COOK 20mins
- TOTAL 1hr
Chicken breasts are a staple in most kitchens, including ours. To make sure that they are juicy and flavorful, we marinate the chicken in a simple marinade for about 20 minutes, although you could go longer. Then we sear it in a pan until browned, flip and cover the pan until the chicken is plump, juicy, and cooked through.
Makes 2 servings
YOU WILL NEED
LEMON CHICKEN BREASTS
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 6 to 8 ounces each
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or other fresh herbs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper cucumber FETA SALAD
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pure honey, depending on how sour the lemon is
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or other fresh herbs
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
Half of a hothouse or seedless cucumber, chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, cubed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- COOK CHICKEN
- MAKE CUCUMBER SALAD
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- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: Calories 421 / Protein 32 g / Carbohydrate 15 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 9 g / Total Fat 27 g / Saturated Fat 7 g / Cholesterol 109 mg