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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12 Responses to “Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 2, 2013 @ 5:05 am

    I am a subscriber as well and when I saw those pancakes I was SO EXCITED to try them…til I read the recipe and b/c I don’t have to be GF, I took a pass b/c it seemed like a lot of trouble and possibly pan-stickage, as can happen with rice flours, etc. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. 2

    sara — May 2, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    These are really pretty, and glad to see your recommendation of how to make them less fragile! They look really yummy…I am also a huge buckwheat and cornmeal fan…they both make great pancakes and so cool to see them combined into one recipe!

  3. 3

    Lindsey Johnson // Cafe Johnsonia — May 2, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    I made these again this morning for breakfast and tweaked them a bit more! I ended up using the following for the dry ingredients:

    3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
    2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
    1/3 cup brown rice flour
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buckwheat flour
    1/4 cup tapioca starch
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

    They turned out even better than the other times. Hooray for multigrain pancakes! I’ve missed them. :)

  4. 4

    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — May 3, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    So glad you made these! I’ve been intrigued ever since I received that copy of BA. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to the trouble with the flours (since I’m not GF and don’t have brown rice flour on hand). BUT they sounded like they would taste great. Love your recommendations.

    I’ve heard wonderful things about Blackberry Farm, so it was neat seeing them highlighted on the cover.

  5. 5

    Haley Williams — May 3, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    Blackberry Farm also sells their gluten free pancake mix, so that might be an easier way to get the flours and mix of ingredients!

  6. 6

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 4, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    I’m actually excited about the variation that you posted in the comments! My mom is Gluten-Free, and I know she misses good pancakes. I’ll have to try your version for her!

  7. 7

    Joanne — May 9, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    It seems like Bon Appetit should hire you for gluten-free recipe testing! I can’t wait to try your take on them.

  8. 8

    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons — May 19, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

    Wow, you had such a beautiful photo for Cook The Cover! I also really loved the flavor of these pancakes. I didn’t have much trouble with them sticking to my nonstick griddle. However, I only had 3/4 of the gluten-free flours, and I don’t eat GF, so I substituted AP flour for the oat flour. Maybe that helped with the not sticking part?

    http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/2013/05/whole-grain-pancakes-with-pineapple.html

  9. 9

    marla — August 19, 2013 @ 5:45 am

    These look great to me …. even with a bit of stick!

  10. 10

    Susan Frost — August 19, 2013 @ 5:53 am

    I love these pancakes. I have made them twice now and have not had trouble with them sticking or crumbling at all. Not sure what the difference is but the as-is recipe worked great for me. They are awesome and in fact, I’ve just gotten a couple out of the freezer to heat for breakfast with some fresh blueberry sauce! Can’t wait!

  11. 11

    TJ — January 5, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

    The recipe converted pretty well to no-egg/no-dairy (I’m cooking for multiple allergies). I used soy milk + 2 T vinegar and chia seed egg, and added a teaspoon of psyllium instead of the xanthan gum.
    Gotta say–this is a pretty robust recipe to put up with all these modifications!

  12. 12

    TJ — January 5, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    Also, re: sticking: These seemed to need a bit cooler pan than wheat pancakes. My stuck badly at first but held together when I turned the heat lower.

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