In this monthly series, I commit to cooking whatever is on the cover of Bon Appetit, Saveur or maybe some other food magazine. There’s a reason these particular dishes are on the cover – they’re usually the best recipes in the magazine.
Naturally, the July issue of Bon Appetit is The Grilling Issue. Grilled chicken skewers, you say? Well, that’s something I’d be making for dinner anyway, so bring it on. Additionally, I was looking forward to making these because they include sriracha and sambal oelek, the dynamic duo of spicy Asian condiments that are stocked in my fridge at all times. Usually, I feel like I should make a choice between one or the other, but here, I didn’t have to choose between two of my best friends – they both came along to the party.
I had to make a few substitutions when making the marinade/sauce. I ran out of brown sugar, so I used a little less than what was called for. Also, I haven’t been able to find a brand of fish sauce that doesn’t make me totally gag. I’ve heard Red Boat brand is very good, but I haven’t been able to locate that in a store in my area yet (I need to go on a fish sauce-hunting mission). So, instead of fish sauce, I substituted soy sauce to add some saltiness.
Even though I ran low on brown sugar, I still used the amounts called for of sriracha and sambal. This led me to have a minor meltdown while grilling, because as I was brushing the sauce onto the chicken, all I could think was “This is going to be so spicy. Too spicy to eat. Why am I brushing all of this sauce on? Stop saucing, Lori. No, I can’t. It’ll be good. Spicy, but good. Do we have any milk in the fridge? Your mouth is going to be on fire.”
I’m happy to report that this recipe, even with my substitutions, was absolutely out of this world. Even better than my previous adventure with chicken and sriracha. It was the perfect balance of super spicy and kind of sweet. By no means, was it too spicy to eat (as long as you like spicy Asian food, I guess). In fact, as with many of Bon Appetit’s cover recipes, it was so good that it was kind of hard to stop eating. Sure, I needed several tall glasses of ice water while eating it, but on a hot day, I probably needed the hydration anyway.
adapted from Bon Appetit
- 8 bamboo skewers
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sambal oelek
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sriracha
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
4. Transfer chicken skewers to grill. Cook, turning and basting with reduced marinade frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°.
- February 2013 Bon Appetit: Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragu
- March 2013 Bon Appetit: Thai Curry Chicken Noodle Soup
- April 2013 Bon Appetit: Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Pickle Coleslaw
- May 2013 Bon Appetit: Whole Grain Pancakes with Pineapple-Ginger Compote
- June 2013 Bon Appetit: Pasta with Herb-Almond Pesto
- July 2013 Bon Appetit: Sambal Chicken Skewers
- August 2013 Bon Appetit: True Mint Ice Cream
- September 2013 Saveur: Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken
- October 2013 Saveur: Hungarian-Style Stuffed Cabbage
- December 2013 Bon Appetit: (Luster-Dusted) Sour Cream-Nutmeg Sugar Cookies
- January 2014 Bon Appetit: Spicy Pork & Mustard Green Soup
- February 2014 Bon Appetit: Chicken & Dumplings with Mushrooms