Seriously Simple: Indian-spiced chicken skewers are tasty cocktail fare
Holidays can bring on lots of stress if you want to have company. When I am entertaining, I’ll make one dish that may require a bit of time and fill in with easy add-ins like roasted nuts, marinated olives with lemon zest and pepper and a tray of interesting cheeses. Seriously Simple style.
I like to mix it up by serving something unexpected from traditional holiday fare. Consider inviting friends to drop by for a casual cocktail fete that includes these Indian-style skewers. They are always a hit at cocktail parties. A chilled riesling or gewurztraminer would be a refreshing accompaniment. Of course, you can offer a favorite signature cocktail of your choice.
Be sure to soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight, to prevent flare-ups when grilling. The chicken tenders are marinated in a zesty yogurt mix. The curry sauce amps up the Indian-style flavor. These are easy to eat off the skewer. Be sure to have plenty of cocktail napkins at the ready. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, or made for as many people as you like.
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Yogurt-Mango Curry Sauce
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, halved lengthwise
For the marinade:
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Zest of 1/2 lime
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
- 1 1/4 cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons curry powder
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup mango chutney, mashed with a fork to break up large pieces
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a roasting pan, cover 16 long bamboo skewers with water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
2. In a medium nonreactive bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but no longer than 4 hours.
3. To make the sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
4. Remove the skewers from the water. Thread 2 pieces of chicken, one at a time, on each skewer, covering only the top third of the skewer.
5. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high or heat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the skewers for approximately 3 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through, with no trace of pink remaining.
6. To serve, arrange the skewers on a platter in a circular pattern. Spoon the sauce into a small serving bowl and place in the center of the platter.
Party prep: The chicken may be prepared through Step 4 up to 4 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated. The sauce may be made one day ahead, covered and refrigerated.
(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)