28 May, 2012
Asian-Inspired Grilled Chicken Skewers
I have a strong affinity for Asian-Inspired flavours, and this marinade I’ve been working on for almost a year now to perfect. I finally found the combination I was looking for, and these skewers turned out beautifully. They would be wonderful served with a side salad with other Asian-style flavours, or any grilled vegetables of your choice to complete the meal.
For this recipe, I used a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. There were 12 thighs in the pack, and they were on sale at my local grocery store. You can use boneless chicken breast, and if you wish to avoid the skewering part, you can use chicken pieces but I would remove the skin and pierce the flesh all over with a fork so the marinade can soak into the meat.
Whenever you use bamboo skewers (or any other wood), make sure to soak them well in water for several hours before you intend to cook with them. They’ll last longer in the high heat of your BBQ grill.
First, take a large zipper-style bag, or any other container you can close tightly, and have it on hand. Cut the chicken thighs in half lengthwise to make strips. Place them in your bag or container.
Next, following the basic marinade combination, I added 1 cup of Pomace Olive Oil, two tbsp of sesame oil, 1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger, 1 tbsp of chopped garlic, 1/3 cup of honey, and about 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
At this point, you must have some patience. Make sure as much air as possible is removed from your container of choice, and place the marinating chicken in the fridge. You’ll have to forget about it for several hours! I had intended to cook my chicken later that evening for dinner, but of course plans got changed, and my chicken marinated overnight. Luckily I had used thighs, which have a “tighter” consistency than breast meat does.
Next comes the messy part! If it isn’t messy, it isn’t fun right? Thread the strips of chicken onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Make sure not to pile the meat too thickly as you want the chicken to cook fully.
The last step is grill or BBQ your marinated chicken skewers. Make sure to pre-heat your grill, and clean it well. Turn the heat down to medium-high, and lightly oil the surface of the grill where the skewers will sit. Lay the skewers out onto the grill in single layers, making sure not to crowd them. You want them to cook as evenly as possible, and if they touch on the grill, the center portions of your skewers may not cook fully.
Let the skewers cook on the grill for about five minutes with the lid closed. Check on them to see if they’re easy to turn over. If not, leave them for a couple more minutes, but check them often. Once they’re fairly easy to turn, turn them, and cook for another five minutes or so, watching closely for flareups. The chicken skewers are done when you pry apart a thick center portion and no more pink remains.
ALWAYS remember to turn off the gas when finished cooking on a gas bbq grill.
Serve up your delicious Asian-inspired grilled chicken skewers with your favourite sides, and be prepared for the raves!