Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Orange You Glad?

Do you ever find yourself buying an ingredient because it looks fun or you really want to try it? Or you use one tablespoon of an ingredient, only to be left with an entire jar of tahini paste, unsure of what to do with the leftovers? I used to do that all the time (and still do more often than I would like to admit), but recently I have been trying to find recipes that use all of the abnormal ingredient.
I like recipes that use all of the special ingredient, or perhaps some suggestions on what to do with the leftovers, so I don't have a giant bottle of fish paste in my fridge for the next three years, or until I have moved so many times I finally just decide to throw it away.
When I ran across this recipe, I fell in love instantly. To be completely honest, I saw it on the Food Network. If I am ever at a hotel or friends house I absolutely cannot tear myself away. I sit in front of the TV for hours watching reruns of Emeril's homemade sausage or Iron Chef America. I could watch food tv all day! Anyway, this dish looked absolutely amazing, so I decided to try it. The recipe originally called for pork tenderloin, but I used chicken instead, because that was what I had readily available.
The chicken is threaded onto skewers and drenched in a spicy orange marmalade sauce. It is grilled outdoors or you could use and indoor grill, or, my favorite, just broil it. More spicy-sweet sauce is lathered on, leaving you with a delicious, fire-kissed skewer with a bit of caramelized jam and burnt orange dancing on your tongue.
I made a few changes, like pumping up the jalapeño flavor a bit and I served this heavenly chicken to my in-laws. My father-in-law instantly began reminiscing about his childhood. The hot summers in southern California, eating sun-kissed oranges.
These skewers could be served as a fun appetizer, or on a bed of white rice for a main dish. Another great thing about it, it uses a whole jar of marmalade.

Chicken Skewers with Sweet and Spicy Marmalade
Makes 6 servings

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (if they are very thick cut in half like cutlets)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter
1 jalapeño pepper and minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 (18-ounce) jar orange marmalade
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Special equipment: 12 wooden skewers soaked in water for 20 minutes

For the chicken, Pat chicken dry and cut lengthwise into 12 pieces. Place in resealable plastic bag. Combine soy sauce, olive oil and garlic in a nonreactive bowl and pour into resealable bag. Seal and massage slightly with your fingertips. Let marinade for 20 minutes to one hour. Drain chicken and pat dry. Preheat broiler.
Thread chicken on to skewers in an S shape and season with kosher salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and position oven rack in its highest position. When preheated, place tray in oven and cook skewers for 2-3 minutes per side.

For the sweet and spicy marmalade, Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pepper cook until soft. Add ginger, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in marmalade, lime juice, salt and orange juice concentrate. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Baste chicken with sweet and spicy marmalade and serve with white rice, or as an appetizer. 

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