Kebob makers tend to squeeze their food-on-a-stick pieces too tightly together. This does nothing but slow the cooking process. It’s okay for these pieces to touch, but just barely.
Metal skewers are best because, unlike bamboo, they don’t have the nasty habit of catching on fire. That said, bamboo brings a certain authenticity to the party. So, to prevent forest fires, you can do one of two things:
• Hit the hibachi. Most hibachi-style grills have grates that stand above the side of the grill. This makes it possible for the meat to lie flat on the grate while the skewers stick straight out to the side.
• Soak the skewers. This is a fine idea as long as you’re going to cook right away, but if you plan on skewering and refrigerating, odds are good the woodworks will again be flammable by the time bird meets burner.
4 to 8 kebobs, depending on the size of the skewers
Cooking Methodbroiling, grilling
Total Timea day or more
OccasionFamily Get-together, game day
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturemeaty, nutty, spiced
Type of Dishskewer
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ cup peanuts (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes or ½-inch slices
- Heavy-bottom skillet
- Mortar with pestle, or coffee grinder
- Small bowl
- Food processor
- Metal or bamboo skewers (see Notes)
- Broiler and broiler pan, or gas or charcoal grill
- Broiling or Grilling
Place coriander and cumin in a heavy dry skillet and toast, tossing occasionally, over high heat. When the seeds just start to smoke, remove from the heat and pour onto a plate to cool. Then grind in a mortar with a pestle, or an electric coffee grinder. Combine the cumin and coriander with other spices and sugar in a small bowl.
Chop the peanuts in a food processor until they’re the size of small crumbs. Add the spices to the processor. While pulsing, add the oils and process to form a paste.
Rub the paste on the chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers.
Heat the broiler and move the rack into position so that the chicken will be within 4 inches of the burner. Or fire up a grill or hibachi. Lay the skewers directly over the heat and cook, turning often until paste is dark and chicken cooked through.
2002, 2006 Be Square Productions