Chicken Skewers Glazed with Kiwi Chutney
Kiwi chutney helps bring chicken to life by infusing the meat with sweet, tangy and spicy flavors. It's an exotic and flavorful twist on what could otherwise be a boring chicken dinner. I served the skewers with raita (yogurt sauce) and some more of the sauce made from the kiwi chutney. For the vegetarians in the house, I deep-fried tofu cubes, placed them on skewers and brushed them with kiwi chutney. Everyone got to share almost the "same" meal, which is very rare in my home.
I got the jar of kiwi chutney pictured below from our friend Laura. It's just one product in a long line of lovely creations that she has shared with us. Laura makes an amazing French marmalade, flavored with French vanilla beans. I don't have the recipe for the marmalade, but last year, she was kind enough to share her recipe for making vinegar on Pham Fatale.
If you don't have a friend like Laura, or can't find kiwi chutney at your local market, you can always try using other sweet chutneys such as mango or tamarind. No matter what, you'll have a tasty new chicken dish to share with your family and friends.
Yields: 12 skewers1-½ pounds chicken (see tips), boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons papaya paste (see tips)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin, freshly ground
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1-½ teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (or plain garlic), finely minced
3 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed with no pulp
2 teaspoons lime zest, finely chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2/3 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons kiwi chutney, ready-made
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
Marinating the chicken:
Cut the chicken into 1-½" pieces. Wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry using paper towels.
Season the chicken with kosher salt, ground cumin, dried mint, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Add the ginger garlic paste (or garlic), papaya paste, lime zest, honey and baking powder. Toss well. Place the chicken in a large bowl or a sealable zip-top bag. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Prepping the chicken skewers:
The next day, remove the chicken from the marinating liquid and pat the meat dry one more time using paper towels.
Soak the bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes. This step will prevent the bamboo from burning when put on the grill.
Thread the chicken pieces onto 12 skewers; try to alternate dark and breast meat. Drizzle with about 2-3 tablespoons of oil.
In a deep non-stick grill pan, brush about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook on heat high until slightly golden. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until soft and tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer the caramelized shallots to a bowl. Set aside.
Cooking the chicken skewers:
In the same grill pan, add the rest of the olive oil. Place the chicken skewers and arrange them on the hot grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Lift the meat with tongs and check for nice charred marks, then flip the skewers and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Finish with a drizzle of lime juice, mint and 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Quickly transfer the chicken skewers to a platter. At this point the chicken isn't cooked completely; it will finish cooking in the kiwi chutney.
Making the chutney sauce:
Add chicken broth to the hot pan, bring to a boil and scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Reduce (uncovered) the liquid to about 2-3 tablespoons. Add the kiwi chutney, stirring continuously. Lower the heat to medium-low. Adjust seasoning of the chutney (if necessary) with salt and pepper. Add the reserved caramelized shallots and chicken skewers. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes. The chicken should be glazed with the chutney. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
Serve warm. Garnish with more cilantro.
And if you fancy some more kiwis for dessert, try my kiwi tart à la crème pâtissière.
I like mixing 1 part chicken breast with 1 part dark meat (chicken thighs). I find the result to be more moist, as dark meat is more flavorful and has more fat than chicken breasts.
If it's in season, you can also make the skewers with turkey. I love using the dark meat for more flavor.
Papaya and baking powder are both great meat tenderizers. This was Baji, Lulu's late grandma's secret for tender and moist meat. Peel a green papaya. Grind the cubed papaya with seeds in a mini food processor, place about 2 teaspoons of papaya paste per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes 3 by 3 into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn. I store them exactly the same as I would extra pesto.
Indian cuisine always calls for ginger garlic paste. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well. Just clean a (2-inch) chunk of fresh ginger and remove any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife, then finely chop the root. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender, add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a small jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.
I used flat-shaped bamboo skewers (versus the thin cylinder-shaped ones); this shape will prevent the meat from rotating by itself. You could also use metal non-stick skewers; the only down side is that they can get really hot, which makes removing the meat from the skewer difficult.
Depending on the season, you can also grill the chicken skewers on a barbecue and brush them in the sauce. You can also use any other chutneys (such as cherry chutney, pineapple chutney, Indian-style tomato chutney, mango chutney, apple chutney, mint chutney or cilantro chutney). Create your own signature dish.Published By: on February 8, 2010.