Thursday, 21 May 2015

Asian apricot and ginger glazed chicken skewers

Surely it's time to kick off the barbecue season? Or, as my alter ego Hyacinth Bucket would probably put it: a "Shakespearean banquet of carnivorous delights followed by piano recitals". 

Asia is a veritable treasure trove for this: just imagine the endless street food stalls full of delectable meaty treats shoved on a stick, cooked on the grill, incredible scent filling the evening air... Uhh, don't know about you guys but I'm getting hungry over here - let's eat!

The surprise hit of our BBQ season last summer was chicken hearts. I have a feeling these sweet and tangy Asian-inspired chicken skewers just might be one of favourites this summer...!

In case you find some, I recommend you use boneless thighs. They are packed with flavour. If you can't, use what ever you can find. Marinating injects the chicken with Asian awesomeness, but in case you're short on time, just skip the marinade-part and boil the marinade directly into glaze.

Depending on the size of the strips and skewers this yields 12-14 skewers

Asian apricot and ginger glazed chicken skewers

600 g chicken, cut to strips


200 g apricot preserve
1/2 - 1 tbsp minced garlic (depending on your taste) 
1 large red chilli, minced
1,5 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 dl soy sauce
1/4 dl rice vinegar
the juice of 1 lime
1/2 dl canola oil
1/2 tsp white pepper

Also: sesame seeds

Pat the chicken fillets dry and cut to strips (unless they already come like that).

Combine the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the chicken. Leave to marinate overnight in the fridge. Or, at least for 4 hours.

Drain the chicken bits (reserve the marinade!) and thread onto the skewers. Remember, if using wooden kind, soak them in water for 10 before this. 

Pour the marinade into a pot and bring to boil. Cook over high-ish heat until it thickens to a glaze. Keep warm.

Grill the skewers, basting a couple of times Towards the end, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve. For instance with these stir fry veggies, this mung bean vermicelli and seaweed salad, this corn and avocado salad or this Asian style coleslaw.

If using oven, bake the skewers at 200 for 4-6 minutes (depending on the size, turning halfway through. Baste with glaze and finish under the broiler. 

And if we're cracking open the barbecue season, we might just as well crack open a bottle of wine, too!

In case you've been following the blog's wine pairings, the Asian influences of the recipe probably hinted what's to come. Yep, another trip to Alsace. Gewürtztraminer would work, as would the trusty Riesling, but in case you haven't tried this one, try. 

Wolfberger is one of my go-to-brands. W3 is a little bit more interesting wine with more character, courtesy of the use of three grapes typical for the region. Muscat adds aromatic sweetness and Pinot Gris lends the wine structure and even hints of gentle spiciness. 

The combination works so well with the fruity tanginess and the toastiness of the sesame seeds. Don't believe me? Try yourself!




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