Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chicken (Skewers) with Honey and Turmeric

I don't know about you, but I consider chicken breasts to be the most versatile thing in the world to cook.  You can do just about anything with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and absolutely anything is possible - any type of cuisine, any cooking method, and any assortment of ingredients.  It's fabulous.  I think that this versatility comes with a price.  How often do you eat a chicken dish based on boneless, skinless chicken breasts that really blows your mind?  Not that often.  I know some people prefer chicken thighs to chicken breasts because dark meat has more flavor than white meat, and also more fat so they don't dry out.  But I really only enjoy chicken thighs in certain preparations.  I think that the extra fattiness of the dark meat just doesn't work sometimes.  It just seems greasy to me.  I know my aversion to dark meat chicken doesn't make any sense because I really like duck, which is just as greasy (if not more greasy) as chicken thighs/legs.  But I just don't like dark meat chicken.  What can I say?  I'm picky about certain things.

So this chicken has a nice mild spice to it.  The spice level was the first thing that Alex commented on.  It has just enough Korean red pepper flakes to give it a hint of heat.  That heat balances out nicely with the sweetness imparted by the honey and OJ in the marinade.  I wish that the ginger had a slightly more pronounced flavor, but that's just me.  I also wish that the chicken had a little more depth of flavor to it.  I'm not sure what I would add to give it another layer of flavor.  The skewers were supposed to be grilled, which would have imparted some smokiness to the chicken, which would have been wonderful, but grilling isn't an option for us here in NYC.  Aside from the smokey flavor, I'm not sure what else I would want to add here to kick the chicken up a notch.  Alex thinks that the smokiness from the grill would really make the chicken taste that much more delicious and I am inclined to agree with him, although I think that there are probably other ways that would be equally successful.  All in all, I give it a solid B.

Recipe after the jump!

Chicken (Skewers) with Honey and Turmeric
Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
By Jaden Hair

1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
1 tbsp orange juice (I just used some of Alex's OJ, but if you want to use fresh-squeezed go for it)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (or thighs), cut into 1-inch cubes
6 scallions, white and pale green parts, cut into 1-inch lengths

Combine ginger, honey, soy sauce, turmeric, chili flakes, and OJ in a small bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add chicken cubes to a resealable plastic storage bag and pour marinade over the top.  Massage the chicken around so that all of the pieces are evenly coated in the marinade.  Marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

Twenty minutes prior to cooking, remove the chicken from the fridge and drain excess marinade.  From this point you have two options (1) you can saute the chicken and scallions in a skillet with peanut oil over medium heat until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes, or (2) you can skewer the chicken and green onions with metal skewers or bamboo skewers that were soaked for 30 minutes and then grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 6 minutes total.


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