Sambal Chicken Skewers

july-2013-cover-300

Cover recipe – Bon Appetit, Sambal Chicken Skewers; July 2013

I always look forward to the Bon Appetit Grilling Issue each year. We like to grill at our house, but don’t do it nearly enough! It’s fun to have a yearly issue full of recipes to try out. We love spicy food and the Sambal Chicken Skewers on the front of the July 2013 issue were calling my name. We have a little charcoal grill that we use and we love the flavor grilling over charcoal gives the food.  It used to be a bit of an argument over charcoal vs. gas grilling and my husband won that battle.

This recipe calls for using chicken thighs–something I’ve actually never skewered and grilled before.  But after making this twice in one week already, I think there’s no going back to chicken breasts on the grill.  The sauce sounded so good to us–sambal oeleck and sriracha mixed with other ingredients to create a spicy BBQ sauce.  Read my notes below to see what I thought of the recipe.
sambal-chicken-skewers

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Sambal Chicken Skewers

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Total Time: 25 min

Special equipment: 8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 1 hour.
Ingredient info: Hot chili paste is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuo nam)
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 teaspoons finely grate peeled ginger
1 1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2"-2" pieces

Directions:

1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Thread 4 or 5 chicken pieces onto each skewer.

2. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7-10 minutes.

3. Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Tips:

*Look for sambal oelek and sriracha in the Asian section of grocery stores.
*If you prefer it to be less spicy, leave out some of the sambal oelek. The sriracha isn't as spicy.
*Remember to soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least an hour before skewering the chicken and grilling. This helps prevent the skewers from burning or catching fire.
*I also made this with metal skewers with great results. They cooked a bit faster.
*Really bring the remaining marinade to a good boil for a few minutes before basting the skewers again. We let it get nice and thick and served it alongside.
*These skewers were great served up with sticky rice and grilled zucchini from the garden.
*It's not listed in the recipe, but I topped mine with cilantro, Thai basil and mint leaves. The fresh flavor of the herbs was great with the spicy sauce.

Recipe source:Bon Appetit; July 2013

The results:

I don’t know what I can say except that this is truly my very favorite recipe for chicken skewers. Ever. It’s spicy and sweet and absolutely perfect. We are trying to think of things to put the sauce on.  It’s spicy enough to make your lips tingle, but not enough to have you searching for a glass of milk.  That’s the perfect kind of spicy in my book.  I headed over to the Bon Appetit website and found some other reader reviews and the consensus was the same–life-changing.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

YES. A resounding YES. Hands down my favorite recipe of 2013 thus far. I plan on making this once a week, if that says anything. :)  We’ve already made it twice.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.


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18 Responses to “Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli”

  1. 1

    Dragon — May 26, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    Want! Great job Lori!

  2. 2

    Heather (Heather's Dish) — May 26, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    i’m glad you tried this recipe out…i have the mag, and never tried this one before! i LOOOOOOOVE burgers :)

  3. 3

    Angie — May 26, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    This burger looks great! I am buying alot of ground turkey lately. But I still haven’t made burgers with it. Made spaghetti and turkey meatballs last night. I will definitely try this recipe

  4. 4

    Cheri — May 26, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    This looks so good Lori! I’ve got to try it soon.

    I’m always amazed at your ability to replicate the magazine photo. Good work! ;)

  5. 5

    Krista — May 26, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    Great job, Lori! :-) The veggies are such a marvy addition, and I really like adding the aioli to the meat. Delish!

  6. 6

    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — May 26, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Gorgeous shot of that burger!!! I tried this burger last year when the mag came out and loved it as well :)

  7. 7

    Elizabeth — May 27, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    I’m embarrassed to ask, but what is aioli – is it the mayo, olive oil, lemon juice and spices?

    • Lori Lange replied: — May 27th, 2010 @ 9:29 am

      You’re exactly right… it’s the mayo-based sauce :)

  8. 8

    Katrina — May 27, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    Mmm, this one really does look and sound great! Aioli is dangerous for me. There’s one at Carrabba’s Grill served with their zucchini frites that I could almost just spoon in my mouth! ;)
    This looks like MY kind of burger.

  9. 9

    ThatsSoYummy — May 27, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    How funny… I was just saying to myself I might make them this weekend… Love it!

    -Natasha

  10. 10

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — May 28, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    Looks like a great burger! Yum :)

  11. 11

    Louise — May 29, 2010 @ 4:39 am

    That’s one good looking burger, Lori! I must add this link to the post I did for National Hamburger Day (28th:) So glad I didn’t miss it! Have a GREAT weekend!!!

  12. 12

    grace — May 31, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    i couldn’t pass through without complimenting your burger. it looks even better than the one in the no doubt heavily-stylized magazine picture–bravo!

  13. 13

    Sues — May 31, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    I’ve loved that cover ever since I got the issue too… But your burger? You take it to a whole new level!! Yours actually made me drool :)

    • Lori Lange replied: — May 31st, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

      Wow, thanks!!

  14. 14

    Karen — June 21, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

    We’re glad to hear you enjoy cooking these burgers, Lori. I’ve posted a link to your article over on the original recipe. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/quick-recipes/2009/08/grilled_turkey_burgers_with_cheddar_and_smoky_aioli

    best,
    Karen Wilson
    producer, bonappetit.com

  15. 15

    gourmetgreg — July 13, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

    I saw this recipe and will try it for an upcoming party which includes turkey burger sliders on the menu as this recipe includes many of the spices and concepts I have been using in my own “ultimate” turkey burger recipe. I add the following: finely chopped half of a large red or sweet Vidalia onion, half cup breadcrumbs, half cup grated parmesan and 1/2 cup cubed cheese (I use parmesan) and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (in honor of Rachel Ray). This way, there is no need to top with melted cheese or sliced onion and the melted cheese cubes add a surprise smile to the face of the guest. I assume you use the remaining aioli, not used in the meat mixture, as a condiment?

    • Lori Lange replied: — July 20th, 2010 @ 10:26 am

      I love your modification ideas! Yes, the aioli may be used as a condiment to the burger. Delicious!

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