The best laid schemes of Mice and Men oft go awry…
And BBQueens, too. Just as I was about to fire up my Green Egg yesterday afternoon, it commenced to thundering. The skies were dark and foreboding. I had to make a tough decision since I do not have a covered place to put the BGE. I decided not to risk it, confident that we were about to get some serious rain. So, of course, the clouds went all around us. It’s the opposite of washing your car — you folks in Plano have me to thank/curse. (Add to To Do list: new patio cover.)
This recipe just ran in Bon Appetit (as I like to say it, BONE app-uh-TEET) as Chicken-Apricot Skewers. I had been flirting with yogurt-based marinades for awhile but this one sounded so down my alley that it even made me want to eat chicken. I figured it would make a great meal for both me and the hubby to kick off the week. (The boy currently subsists solely on chicken nuggets.) Here’s how it went down…
Since you are supposed to marinate the chicken at least three hours and as long as overnight, I whipped the marinade together right after lunch. I blended up the coconut milk, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, and salt. It smelled quite heavenly.
Then I pulsed in some cilantro and pickled jalapeno. (The recipe called for fresh jalapenos, but I’m partial to pickled.)
I cut up my boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch chunks (removing all of the gross parts along the way) and put them in a Ziploc with about half of the marinade.
And I let that sit in the fridge for almost five hours. I also poured the remaining marinade in a plastic container and put it in the fridge for drizzling later. (I might have also aggressively taste tested it beforehand. It was soooo good, y’all.)
Then came my ill-fated decision to choose another cooking method. I opted to preheat the ‘ole oven to 425 degrees. In retrospect, I think setting it on broil might have been a better choice. While the oven heated, I quartered my rather large apricots and then poured in some more of that oh-so-good marinade.
And stirred them up ever-so-gently…
Now I was ready to place them on some roasting pans/baking sheets.
And pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes. I would recommend the broiling to better simulate the char you would get with the grill — if so, just keep an eye on them. Of course, assuming there is not a rain storm holding you back, I would definitely recommend following the original recipe at the bottom of the post.
Once everything looked nice and cooked, I plated it up over some basmati rice, drizzled with remaining marinade, and garnished with peanuts and cilantro like so:
Here’s the official recipe:
from Bon Appetit
- 3/4 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 2 teaspoons (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves plus sprigs for garnish
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped jalapeño (about 1 large; with seeds for more heat)
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into twenty-four 1″ chunks
- 12 firm ripe small apricots, halved, pitted
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Lime wedges
Special EquipmentTwenty-four 6″ bamboo skewers (soak in water for 1 hour before using)
Ingredient InfoLook for canned light unsweetened coconut milk at Indian, Latin, and Southeast Asian markets and many supermarkets.
Purée first 6 ingredients and 3/4 tsp. salt in a blender until smooth. Add 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and jalapeño and blend briefly to combine. Transfer 1/2 cup marinade to a small bowl; cover and chill for serving (return to room temperature before using). Place remaining marinade in a resealable plastic bag; add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight (the longer it marinates, the more flavorful it will be).
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Holding 2 skewers parallel to each other and 1/2″ apart, thread 1 piece of chicken onto skewers, then 1 apricot half. Repeat with 1 more chicken piece and 1 more apricot half (using 2 skewers helps hold the meat and fruit together, preventing them from twirling around when skewers are turned on the grill). Repeat with remaining skewers, chicken, and apricots for a total of 12, each holding 2 pieces of chicken and 2 apricot halves. Season with salt and pepper. Brush apricots with some marinade from bag; discard remaining marinade.
Grill skewers on one side until chicken is well browned, 3—4 minutes. Turn and grill until other side is well browned, 3—4 minutes longer. Move to a cooler part of grill. Cover grill and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with cilantro sprigs and peanuts and drizzle with reserved marinade. Serve with lime wedges alongside for squeezing over.