Together with Bobby Chin's BBQ chicken wings that we made for our BBQ (see previous post), we had also marinated more chicken wings in a different marinade as well as the requisite sausages and lambchops. Oh, and some prawns for the rest of them. =P In addition to all that food, I had also prepared a chicken recipe adapted from the Best Ever Chicken book (printed by Parragon), which is a relic from my Bristol days where I had to cook a different dish almost every night for dinner (and blogged about it everyday too! Amazing...).
The reason for this was because Babah doesn't really like BBQ chicken, as he feels that few BBQ wings are cooked properly all the way to the inside without burning the outside. It does take a bit of skill, I admit. To counter all that, I selected a chicken kebab recipe from the book. Since the chicken is boneless and in small chunks, it should cook rather quickly, right? So, here we go!
What you need:
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chilli powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped - omitted, didn't have any with me
1 long thin eggplant
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into 2-inch squares
salt and black pepper
What you do:
- In a small bowl, mix the oil with the lemon juice, garlic, chilli powder and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the chicken pieces and leave to marinate at least 3 hours, or overnight.
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise into strips 1/4-inch thick. Cut them horizontally about halfway along their length. Wrap the chicken pieces with the eggplant slices, reserving the marinade.
- Prepare the skewers by alternating the chicken and pepper pieces. Lay the prepared skewers on a platter and sprinkle with the reserved marinade. Prepare the barbecue.
- Grill the skewers for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through, turning the skewers occasionally. Serve hot.
Initially, Babah was a bit iffy about the addition of the lemon juice. We stirfried a couple of pieces, just to see how it tasted. He seemed unimpressed and requested that I add some chilli powder just to add a bit of a spicy kick. So I did and left to marinate it some more, even though I didn't think it tasted all that bad. =P Also, in the original recipe, you didn't actually marinate the chicken. You just brushed the oil mixture over it while it was cooking, but I felt leery about doing that so I decided to just mix everything (except the veggies) up.
Preparing the chicken skewers was really easy, and fun too! I think the lemon juice tenderised the chicken meat somewhat, as they were skewered really easily. I had bought some metal skewers specifically for this since they looked really pretty and I couldn't resist, hehe. Of course, if you don't want to do this, you can just use satay sticks that have been soaked in water for a bit. Wrapping the chicken pieces with the eggplant made it look really quite slick. Almost professional looking, hehe. ;) Oh, as a side note, in the original recipe, you used half an eggplant and half a zucchini, but since I have no idea what a zucchini is and whether they sold any in Brunei, I just decided to use eggplant. Worked out just fine. :)
Cooking the skewers was also really easy. Since Babah likes his food cooked really really well, these were grilled until just before the eggplants turned too brown. The chicken was nicely browned at this point. The red peppers felt a bit undercooked though, so in future, I think I will either roast the pepper first or use roasted red peppers from a bottle (if I can find them!). I think half-cooked potato cubes would work really well here too. And maybe even a couple of cherry tomatoes. Mmmmm!
And yes, this will definitely be featured in our future BBQs as Babah loved it! Yay! Cooking it over a charcoal fire gave it a slightly different taste than cooking it over the stove and he really really liked it. He thought the veggies were a nice touch too, though I didn't touch them myself, haha. I did like the chicken though. The lemon gave a fresh taste to it, while the chilli powder gave a gentle heat to it. I couldn't particularly taste the garlic, I think I will use blended garlic next time.
And that's that! =) Sorry I don't have any pictures where the chicken was cooked properly - by then, our fingers were finger-lickin' sticky, hehe.
Quote of the day: Meat products should always be thoroughly cooked. You can have any colour providing it's not black.