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3.22.17 Sticky Glazed Chicken Skewers

3.22.17 Sticky Glazed Chicken Skewers

A grilling recipe in March? I know, it seems like maybe I’m jumping the gun a little. Most years, we wait patiently until we’re facing consistently springy, warm weather, or at least until we know we’re not going to be seeing any more snow before busting out the charcoal. But recently, as asked myself, why? As long as we don’t have to dig the grill out from under a snowdrift, or stand in a blizzard to cook our food, why do we have to wait until April, or god forbid, May? The answer, of course, is: we don’t.

And so, this realization, coupled with this winter’s mild weather means that we’ve grilled out multiple times already this year. And I’ve got to say, this is the way to do it. For example, you may argue, but in my mind, there’s no way to make chicken like this without a grill.  It just can’t be done. The grill is essential to ensure maximum smokiness, and those lovely charred edges? Without a grill, forget about it.

The trick here is to use chicken thighs. Sliced into strips, quickly soaked in a sweet soy marinade, you thread them onto skewers, resulting in lots and lots of surface area, and maximum crispy edges. The other key here is to cook the remaining marinade down to a glaze, and brush it over the skewers while grilling, so that you end up with perfectly sticky glazed pieces of chicken.

What you do with it once it comes off the grill is up to you, but I can personally attest that serving it atop crispy rice with a whole slew of toppings (think mint, cucumber, chile, lime, peanuts - you know, all of the best things) is pretty damn awesome. I mean, you could wait until May to bust out your grill, but would you really want to?

Sticky Glazed Chicken Skewers

Serves 4

Are you using bamboo skewers to grill your kebabs? If so, be sure to give them a good soak in water before grilling so they don’t burn up on you.

  • 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chile garlic paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Crispy rice*, sliced cucumber, mint, sliced scallion, chiles, chopped peanuts, and lime wedges for serving.

1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat.

2. Stir together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil,  fish sauce, chile garlic paste, and garlic in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto skewers ( I ended up using 4 skewers total).

3. Transfer the leftover marinade to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 7–10 minutes.

4. Grill the chicken skewers, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, about 8–10 minutes.

5. Remove chicken pieces from skewers and serve atop crispy rice with sliced cucumber, mint, sliced scallion, chiles, chopped peanuts, and lime wedges.

*I found out the secret to making crispy rice, and I am never going back. Combine 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water, and a pinch of salt in a heavy bottom pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Wrap the lid tightly in a clean kitchen towel, and place over pot to form a tight seal. Check rice around 30-35 minutes - it should be crispy and starting to turn golden on the bottom, but not burned. If you want it crispier, replace lid and continue to cook until bottom of rice reaches desired level of crispiness. When ready to serve, scrape out of pot and divide between bowls.

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