Saturday, 22 April 2017

Apricot Mango Chicken Skewers

My daughter gave me two very ripe mangoes; we had planned to use them for smoothies, but never did get around to making them. I used them to marinade my chicken breast, which I skewered with some dried apricots. I used the marinade, along with some extra apricots, to make a barbecue style sauce, and served it all up on basmati rice. Delicious!

When making the marinade I added some apricot wine from the open bottle in the fridge. This was not a dessert wine, actually it was relatively dry, but added to the apricot flavours in the dish.

Using a hand blender, puree:

2 small ripe mangoes, peeled
2 tablespoons apricot wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cut 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 10 cubes each. Place them into a resealable plastic bag, together with the marinade.

Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Pour boiling water over 16 dried apricots, and leave to soak, covered, overnight. They will plump up nicely, and the remaining water will be infused with the apricot flavour.

Turn the broiler or grill on to heat.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, saving the marinade for the sauce.

Remove the apricots from the soaking water, reserving the water for the sauce.

Skewer 4 pieces of chicken and 2 apricots onto each skewer.

Using the hand blender, puree the remaining soaked apricots, along with the reserved water.

To make the sauce, place the reserved marinade and pureed apricots and water into a small saucepan, together with:

2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
a large pinch of chili flakes

Bring the sauce to a boil, and then simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Broil or grill the skewers until the chicken is fully cooked, turning occasionally.

I served the skewers on top of basmati rice, with the barbecue sauce on top, and accompanied by grilled asparagus and sweet red peppers.

  • Mango contains an enzyme called protease that helps to break down meat protein, tenderizing it. Other fruits that also contain this enzyme are papaya, kiwi (see the post Grilled Rack of Lamb in a Kiwifuit and Herb Marinade  and pineapple.
  • The marinade can be used for other meats such as chicken thighs or drumsticks, pork tenderloin, or ribs. These do not need to be skewered, just marinated and grilled. If you use the marinade for fish, use a firm fleshed fish such as halibut, and marinade for around 30 minutes (see the post Mango - Coconut Halibut Skewers).
  • The apricots can be replaced with vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, onion, mushrooms. 
  • Soaking the apricots rehydrates them, softening them and allowing them to be cooked without becoming hard and dry.
  • It is important to bring the sauce to a boil as you are using the marinade from the raw chicken.  Another alternative is to make the sauce using the pureed apricots and some more mango, or mango juice.
  • Any white wine can be used; apple, orange, mango or apricot juice can be substituted.
  • Use leftover chicken for chicken salad in sandwhiches or wraps. This can also be made and eaten cold for a picnic lunch.

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