Thursday, February 7, 2013

Red Curry Chicken Kebobs with Minty Yogurt Sauce

Alex and I are going out of town next week so I am currently fighting a battle to use up everything in our fridge.  I happened to buy some chicken breasts and labneh at the grocery store last week and some mint and other herbs this week that I wanted to use.  This recipe was great because it helped me use some of the chicken (the rest we froze), along with some of the herbs and the labneh.  It was also really easy to prepare (which was key because I was throwing the marinade together and chopping the chicken while making Mediterranean Salad with Prosciutto and Pomegranate and Spicy Chickpea Soup for dinner Tuesday night, as well as egg salad for lunch).  I read the reviews on the Food & Wine website and knew that I probably wasn't going to be blown away by the flavor of the recipe as written, but I figured we could make a few variations and bump up the flavor a little bit.  Sadly, I still wasn't blown away with the flavor.  I doubled the amount of red curry paste in the marinade and the chicken kebabs still weren't very spicy.  And the minty yogurt sauce just tasted like yogurt and mayonnaise to me.  So we added more lime juice and threw in a few other ingredients and it still mostly tasted like yogurt and mayonnaise.  But at a certain point, we came to the realization that nothing we did was going to create a really killer sauce with the base we had.  So we declared it good enough for government work and sat down to dinner.  Don't get me wrong - it wasn't bad.  Nothing about dinner was bad.  Even with all of our modifications we still weren't blown away by the flavor.  We ended up serving our kebabs with warm naan and an Asian kale salad (which I will post later) and it made a pretty decent, reasonably easy midweek meal.  It wasn't amazing, but it was ok.  And sometimes ok is... ok.

Recipe after the jump!

Red Curry Chicken Kebobs with Minty Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from Food & Wine

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup plain yogurt (we used labneh)
2 tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped  
1 scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped
2 tsp Korean red pepper flakes

In a large bowl, mix the curry paste with the oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the chicken cubes and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Light a grill or preheat broiler (we used the broiler).  In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mayonnaise, honey, lime juice, mint, scallions and red pepper flakes and season with salt to taste.

Thread the chicken onto 10 skewers (if your skewers are wood you should soak them in water for at least 20 minutes prior to this step, but if they are metal go right ahead), leaving 1/4 inch between the cubes. Grill over moderately high heat, turning frequently, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Alternatively, broil on high, about 6-10 inches from the heat source, for about 10-12 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. 

Serve the kebabs with the minty yogurt sauce on the side.

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