I buy food magazines.
I guess it says something about the stage in my life when I prefer Cooking Light, Food Network Magazine, and the recipe section in Sunset to fashion or gossip magazines. I love settling in on the couch with a glass of wine and flipping slowly through the pages. While I used to dog-ear the pages with outfits I coveted, now I get inspired by the glossy, drool-inducing pictures of perfectly styled dishes. I tear out and attempt interesting recipes, making tweaks to some along the way, learning new techniques and making my husband very happy. Sometimes, I’ll come across a photo of something so ridiculously scrumptious-looking that I MUST MAKE IT IMMEDIATELY. That’s what happened when I saw the cover of this month’s Bon Appetit.
To be fair, this recipe had me at the words, “Sriracha-glazed.” We like it hot around here- our dog is named Cholula, for Pete’s sake. But that photo- the rich colors, a vibrant freshness from the sprinkled herbs, the char of the chicken, the convenient drips of deliciousness here and there– sealed the deal. Somebody give Bon Appetit’s food stylist a raise because that person is brilliant.
This recipe is quite simple, as all really good recipes are. I had just about everything on hand, except the boneless chicken thighs and the fish sauce!
The sauce came together quickly. I love the brightness that the fresh ginger brings to the party- it helps cut the spice factor.
The sauce actually has more sambal (spicy chili paste) in it than Sriracha. I put it in a bowl with the grated ginger and some brown sugar. Spicy sweet? Yes, please!
Next came some rice vinegar, the fish sauce, and our household’s favorite Asian condiment– the Sriracha. A quick whisk, and we’re DONE!
Chicken thighs are new to me. I usually opt for cooking with meat from chicken breasts, but know that the thighs have more flavor (and are cheaper!). I cut them into smaller chunks and added the meat to the sauce.
It’s not a marinade, so the chicken doesn’t need to spend time swimming in the sauce, but I had laundry to fold so I left it for a half hour or so. I skewered the chunks onto metal skewers for John to grill, and simmered the remaining sauce on the stove.
John brushed some of the sauce onto the skewers while he grilled them, and I let the rest of it simmer a bit longer to get thick and fabulous. Can we talk about these skewers? (Cue tummy growl.)
While John finished up the chicken, I made a salad: homegrown romaine, some arugula, diced jicama, baby heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, and some homegrown chives, basil, and cilantro. I love eating out of our backyard!
I’m pretty sure these are the prettiest chicken skewers I’ve ever seen. They look like the magazine cover, don’t they? Gorgeous!
A quick shake of some sesame seeds and a squeeze of lemon, and we dove in. Bold flavor. Spicy, but with a deep sweetness from the brown sugar. The charred bits are irresistible!
John lets me know when a recipe is a good one, when he likes it enough for me to make it again. Within a few seconds of his first bite, he said, “Keeper, Ber. Wow. Keeper.”
Sambal-Sriracha Chicken Skewers (Bon Appetit)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
- ¼ cup fish sauce (nam pla or nuac nam)
- ¼ cup Sriracha
- 1 tsp. grated peeled ginger
- 1 ½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces
- Metal skewers, or bamboo skewers soaked in water for an hour
Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
Whisk together brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Thread onto skewers.
Transfer marinade to a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by about half, 7-10 minutes.
Grill chicken, basting with some of the marinade, until cooked through. Serve with additional marinade. Try not to say, “Mmmmmm!” too many times. Yum!
**Hey, Mom! Rice vinegar, sambal, fish sauce, and Sriracha can be found with the Asian food items in your supermarket.
**Check out a full recipe list and links to my culinary adventures on the FOOD BLISS link above!**