Thai-inspired Chicken Skewers
Last month, when I was at the Fancy Food Show, I had a chance to check out a few new products in Schoolhouse Kitchen‘s range. I’m a huge fan of their jams, chutneys, and mustards, which combine top-quality ingredients to make bold and innovative flavors. They are perfect for cooking with as well as for slathering on breads and meats to make delicious sandwiches and snacks. Their new Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette is a fantastic addition to their product line.
It is deeply flavorful with a smooth texture from the coconut milk, a dash of spice from the curry, and a zing of citrus shining throughout. The tastes are all so well balanced and would be perfect for drizzling over a salad of seasonal summer greens. For me, this brought back memories of eating Thai Chicken Skewers. I’d taken a cooking course in Asian cuisine a few weeks prior to the show, and when I compared my notes for the recipe with the ingredients on the label of this vinaigrette, I realized that Schoolhouse Kitchen had created almost the exact same mixture that I could use in my own home kitchen.
When I ran into Wendy, the president of the company, at the Ice Cream Beer Social at Jimmy’s No. 43 last week, we talked about my sending her a recipe for these, using her vinaigrette. I’ve contributed a couple of recipes to her website that I made with their chutneys, and I always want to try to find more ways of using their products. This recipe has little prep time, minus the marinade part, and a very short cooking time, so I put it on the list of Weeknight Suppers. Add peanut dipping sauce and some greens or a Pad Thai, and it is an easy meal for a hot summer’s night or for any time you’d like to take a trip to the Far East.
Prep time: 30 minutes; 1.5 hours with marinade time
Serving size: 8 skewers; serves 8 as appetizers or 4-6 as main meal
1/2 c. Schoolhouse Kitchen Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette
2 cloves Garlic, smashed and chopped finely
1 1/2-inch piece of Ginger, grated
2 tsp. Fish Sauce
4 boneless skinless Chicken breast halves (2 whole breasts)
8 long Bamboo Skewers
1 tsp. Canola oil
1 Tbsp. minced Cilantro (optional garnish)
Mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Add the garlic, ginger, and fish sauce to the Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish large enough for the meat to be in one layer.
Cut chicken into approximately 2-3 inch long and 1/2 inch thick pieces. The best way to slice the meat is to cut it across the grain, as in the photo below.
Put the chicken into the dish with the marinade and toss it around to make sure that all of the pieces are coated in the liquid. Leave this at room temperature for one hour to allow the marinade to infuse into the meat. Turn the meat once at about the 30 minute mark so that both sides are coated with the liquid. If making this several hours ahead of cooking time, cover the chicken and marinade and place it in the refrigerator instead of leaving it out at room temperature.
Soaking the Skewers
Thirty minutes prior to cooking the chicken, put the skewers in a pan or dish and cover them completely with water to soak them thoroughly before using them. This will keep them from burning while the meat is cooking on the grill.
When the chicken has finished marinading and the skewers are done soaking, thread the meat onto the skewers to prepare them to cook. In the photo above, I probably crowded the meat too much, but you can see how the meat is threaded through the sharp end of the skewer and pushed to the bottom (flat end), like making shish kebab.
Heat up a grill pan drizzled with canola oil or fire up an outdoor grill. Lay the skewers in a single row, like in the photo above, to cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side. When the edges of the chicken look done, i.e., the edges have gone from pink to beige, turn the skewers over and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side. As the meat has been sliced thinly, it will cook rather quickly.
Thai-inpired Chicken Skewers
When the meat is cooked through on both sides, remove to a plate or serving platter. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, if using. Serve with peanut sauce on the side.
Kitchen Witch Tip:
As a way of introducing new people to their products and to how easy it is to use them creatively in cooking meals for their families, the folks at Schoolhouse Kitchen have a well-curated recipes and serving suggestions section on their site. These are a great inspiration for anyone looking to perk up their usual weekly meal rotation. Hopefully, you’ll also find a new favorite dish using one of these terrific products!