Prepare to skewer June 10, 2011Posted by Peeps in Cook's Illustrated, Cooking, Food, Home.
Tags: bacony goodness!, chicken kebabs
We love it when we get a new Cook’s Illustrated delivered to the house. We always learn stuff, and we’ve pretty much never been disappointed by anything of theirs we’ve tried.
The last issue we got had an article in it about rescuing chicken kebabs. Which strikes me as a very sensible idea. I can’t tell you how many seriously sub-standard chicken kebabs I’ve had over the years. We thought it looked really good and decided to try it.
You start with two pounds of chicken cut into one inch cubes. You can use either breast meat or thigh meat. Just not both at the same time. Different cooking times, you know. The meat gets tossed in a bowl with two teaspoons of kosher salt and gets covered to sit in the fridge for half an hour to an hour.
While the chicken is getting some seasoning, you can start the barbecue sauce they suggested for this particular dish. The bottled stuff would do, I suppose. But this one is fast and easy, and you know what’s in it. Just saying.
The sauce is half a cup of ketchup, a quarter cup of molasses, two tablespoons of grated onion (if you don’t feel like grating the food processor will do a fine job), two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, two tablespoons of cider vinegar and one tablespoon of light brown sugar. All this goes into a pot and simmered until you have about a cup of sauce, roughly ten minutes. Put half into a small bowl for use at table.
Now, it’s time to get the chicken ready.
In a small bowl combine two tablespoons sweet paprika, four teaspoons of sugar and two teaspoons of smoked paprika. This gets mixed in with your salted chicken pieces.
Now is when it starts to get a little weird. They wanted the smoky pork flavor of bacon in their kebabs, but they didn’t use strips of bacon. They said it was “too bacon-y”. Really? Is there such a thing? Regardless, what they came up with was strange but brilliant.
Take two slices of bacon cut into half inch pieces and put them into your food processor and process untill you have a smooth paste.
We used the mini processor, and it worked just fine, with a little less dish washing. The paste goes in with the chicken and seasonings and gets rubbed together to form a nice even coating on the chicken.
Once you chicken is nicely coated, get your skewers out and start skewering. Six should do you nicely.
You’re now ready to grill. Your grill has been heating all this time, right?
The kebabs should get turned every two minutes or so. Eight minutes total for breast meat and ten for thighs.
Once they’ve started to brown, they need to get sauced.
Brush on the sauce and continue cooking and turning every minute or so until the chicken is done. 160 degrees for breast meat, about 175 for thigh meat.
Let them rest for about five minutes or so while you get the rest of your meal together.
We served these with rice and frozen carrots. They were fantastic! We will certainly be doing these again and very soon. And we learned two things from this recipe.
One, bacon paste. Dude, we are definitely planning on exploring this concept further. And two, we’ve been spelling kebab wrong for a really long time.