Summertime is here! By the time you’re reading this the bells have already rung announcing the beginning of the season. I love summer, it’s not my favorite season, but I still find it favorable. Summer in St.Croix also means that fruit is in abundance. It’s mango season! It’s tamarind season! It’s genip season! It’s passion fruit season! It’s crab season. Damn near everything is in season It seems lol. And who am I not to partake in the bountiful glory of fresh produce that the Lord has bestowed upon us?
I try to lighten up my meals in the summer and came up with this chicken dish. It’s already grilling season so why not throw something a little different on the grill? I thought this would be an awesome dish for a picnic, garden party or BBQ. Since it’s protein, it’s filling, the chicken is skewered on sugarcane which imparts a hint of sweetness as it cooks as well as a little tenderness. Last but not least the sticky, sweet and slightly tart tamarind glaze just sets it over the top. You can serve these as a main dish or appetizers, this time around I had it a side of coconut rice and a bit of veg and I was in heaven.
Without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we?
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ pound sugarcane (you can find them at your local Asian or Caribbean market), cut into thin sharp strips (about the thickness of a pencil)
3 cups lukewarm water
¼ cup honey
½ cup white vinegar
2 tablespoon sea salt
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup tamarind paste
¼ scallions, diced.
**I’ve noticed boneless skinless thighs may still have some of the fat still attached. I trim as much as possible but leave a bit on which will help once we get it on the grill.**
1. Rinse chicken with vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl/container add water, honey and sea salt, mix until honey and salt are dissolved.
2. Cut chicken lengthwise into strips about 2 inches wide.
3. Add chicken strips to salt water brine, soak overnight, or at least 6-8 hours, preferably overnight.
The next following day
1. Heat grill or grill pan
2. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry
3. Skewer chicken on sugar cane. If it is difficult to pIerce meat with the end of sugarcane, use a sharp knife to poke holes through the meat and them thread skewer thru and prepare the grill.
4. Once grill or grill pan is heated thru and ready to use, use tongs to place chicken skewers on the grill, and leave for 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to remove from heat until it forms nice grill marks.
5. After 4 minutes flip skewers to the other side.
6. As meat is cooking prepare glaze for basting skewers. In small bowl mix all ingredients until smooth, you may need to add more soy or sugar to suit your taste.
7. Once meat is cooked thoroughly, begin to baste with glaze. Turning twice to make sure skewer is evenly coated and Glazed.
8. Sprinkle with green onion before serving.
What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate in-season produce into your recipes? Let me know in the comments! And remember if you try out the recipe make sure to tag me and use #ahirokoeats so I can find you!