Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sansho Pepper Skewers!

Spiedini di Pollo con Miele, Pepe di "Sansho" é Couscous
Honey-Glazed Chicken Skewers with Sansho Pepper on Couscous

One of the great things about breasts is that they come in two's- haha! So after last night's Mediterranean-influenced meal, I decided to turn the second of the chicken breasts I had in the fridge into something a little more of the Asian persuasion :-)

These 5 skewers of honey-coated chicken are made from 1 breast, marinated in ginger, light soy sauce and lime, glazed in honey and then brought to glorious life with a sprinkle of intensely citrusy Sansho pepper to knock your socks off! I served them on a Tandoori-spice and lime-infused couscous on a bed of arugula, with a couple of juicy cherry tomatoes to counter-point the strength of the Sansho. Oh-and one last thing... it was a delicious combination!

The chicken breast consisted, as is usually the case if you buy it intact, of one large portion of meat and a second, smaller fillet that is attached on the under-side. I had one of these smaller fillets left-over from yesterday, and looking at it, was inspired to cut the other breast into similar sized pieces, so that it would all cook in the same length of time. So yes- there was even some common-sense to cutting the chicken this way!

I put the strips of chicken into a plastic bag, added a few drops of sesame oil, a little light soy sauce, a 2" chunk of ginger and a clove of garlic, grated, along with the juice of 1 lime and let them marinate for a while. Cut to this thickness they don't need to marinate for too long- I only had them in for 30 minutes and they were fine, but a couple of hours would probably have been better.

I prepared 2 cups of couscous by covering it with boiling water, adding 1 chopped Spring onion, a handful of finely chopped parsley and honey and 2 Tablespoons of Tandoori spice. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, added a little sesame oil, stirred it well and allowed it to sit and "cook" for 10 minutes... easy!

The chicken skewers went onto a hot griddle for 2-3 minutes from each side- of course they would have been even better if I had made them in a grill... but alas! Once the skewers are lightly brown on each side, deglaze the pan with a little splash of rice wine if you have it, or regular white wine if you don't and add a drizzle of honey... and quickly rotate them to get them coated on both sides! I said quickly! Because that honey will soon become too dark and turn bitter on you if you are not careful!

Serve the skewers on a bed of couscous and arugula and sprinkle with Sansho pepper for that added "kick". I shall leave it up to your own discretion how much of it you use as it IS pretty potent stuff! But the intense citrus flavor is out of this world- and I am sure you are going to love it!

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