Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Romesco Sauce

Kebabs are fun to make, except for the cubing but if you are smart like I am, you will find a friend to help.

I love my chicken but I do know there are those who find it bland.  If this is you, try this recipe.  The spices help to make a sometimes-bland chicken breast a total rock-star and the small bites cook quickly keeping it nice and moist. 

And then there is the romesco.  Ahh the romesco.  It sings of garlic and the additional ingredients serve as supporting chorus members.

I know I sometimes use a music analogy too frequently, but I really do see food as a symphony...

Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Romesco Sauce (Adapted from Sunset Cookbook)

    * 8 wood or metal skewers
    * 2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-in. cubes
    * 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    * 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    * 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    * 2 teaspoons plus 1 tbsp. minced garlic
    * 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
    * 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
    * 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 3/4 cup peeled roasted red peppers (canned or fresh)
    * 1/4 cup pine nute, toasted
    * 1 slice crusty bread, toasted and cut into cubes
    * 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
    * 2 bunches green onions, root ends trimmed

1. If using wood skewers, soak in cold water at least 30 minutes before using. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine chicken, cilantro, 3 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, 2 tsp. garlic, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper. Toss to coat, then marinate, chilled, 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put roasted peppers, nuts, bread, vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp. minced garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil in food processor and whirl until puréed; sauce will be thick.

3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking grate only 3 to 4 seconds). Thread chicken onto skewers, discarding marinade. Drizzle green onions with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Lay skewers on grill (cover if using gas) and cook 4 minutes. Turn skewers over, then lay green onions on grill. Cook 4 minutes, until chicken is browned and cooked through and onions are charred in places. Serve hot, accompanied by sauce.

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