I served this Asian grilled chicken with rice pilaf, and it reminded me that most of the ingredients would have been found on the Silk Road. The peppers, of course, would not have been found there because they were not cultivated in that area until after the Columbian exchange. I always thought it would be wonderful to have been able to travel along the Silk Road, although I’m sure during the days of the Roman Empire, it must have been slow going, dirty and dusty. Find out more about the Silk Road on Wikipedia.
You can put anything you want in this. It’s a great way to get rid of bits of vegetables you might have in the refrigerator. I wanted to put dried apricot in this pilaf but forgot to get it at the store, so I will have to do it next time. If you have nut allergies, of course, don’t put the almonds in the rice pilaf. If you don’t like spicy foods, then omit the Szechuan pepper, and use red bell pepper instead of the peppadews. Enjoy!
A word about my platter. One day near Thanksgiving, I happened upon this platter. It’s plastic, with a beach scene and an old woody station wagon in the center. The title above the car says “Seas N Greetings”. It was just too much for me to pass up, and I use it a lot. It has become a conversation piece.
- 5 chicken thighs skinless, boneless
- 10 Peppadew whole piquant peppers
- 1/2 onion
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 tsp Szechuan pepper, finely crushed
- 2 tbs honey
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Shallots in Oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Cut chicken thighs into 1/2 inch pieces. In a separate bowl, mix the marinade and pour over the chicken. Mix completely so that all the chicken pieces are covered. Let marinade for 1-2 hours. While that is happening, soak bamboo skewers in water.
- Cut off the root of the half onion. Cut the half in half so you have two quarters. Separate the layers and set them aside. Put a layer of sliced onion on a skewer to hold the food in place. Next, put a piece of the marinated chicken, then a peppadew, repeat until once, then repeat on the other skewers. If you have any leftover, just put more on each skewer until everything is used up.
- Heat a cast iron grill on the stove top. When it is very hot, put some oil on it to prevent sticking. Put the skewers on the grill and reduce the heat. Cook on one side until the chicken has browned or slightly charred. Turn one quarter, cook two minutes, turn, cook two more minutes. On the final turn, brush with the glaze, then turn again for one minute, and keep on turning until the glaze has thickened a bit. Don't worry about your grill, the caramelized honey comes right off in hot soapy water.
- Put the oils and butter into a saute pan. Let the shallots get a bit of color, then add everything but the rice and broth. Saute until the onion is translucent, don't worry about the cilantro turning brown, it's supposed to be that way. Add the rice and saute it as well making sure all the grains are well coated. Finally, add the broth and cover the pan. Reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes, checking at 15 minutes. When the rice is done and all the broth has been absorbed, fluff with a fork.
- Put the rice on a platter and place the kabobs on top. Sprinkle sesame seeds over all.
If you are having problems finding Peppadew peppers, you can find them on Amazon. They are very tasty and I recommend them highly.