Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boys and Sticks

Boys love sticks, right?  It's crazy to me how from a very young age, boys gravitate toward sticks.  I've been told girls don't really do this, but I wouldn't know since I don't have any girls.  I don't remember caring much about sticks as a child. 
As I've stated many, many times before, my little boys are very selective eaters who are very much on the skinny side.  This causes me to eternally try harder to get them to eat.  Today I came up with what I thought *might* be a genius idea: meat on skewers.  I figured at least my oldest one would think it was fun, and I don't know, meat on a stick just seems exotic to me.  I've also been trying to think of simpler ways to make food with an Indian flair to it, but I'm not a fan of straight curry powder so it has to be well-disguised.  I'm really proud of myself on two scores tonight: 1) I invented an awesome chicken marinade that has a nice curry flair to it and 2) BOTH OF MY CHILDREN INHALED DINNER, and in larger quantities than usual. My three-year-old ate two whole skewers of chicken and my 18-month-old actually ate chicken.  That in and of itself is a miracle since he's a pretty confirmed vegetarian.  He seemed to love being able to hold onto that stick and gnaw on the meat - the caveman thing is innate, I suppose.  Skewers have definitely been under-utilized in our household and that is absolutely going to change.
I served the chicken skewers with an experimental saffron-jasmine rice.  I'm going to keep working on the recipe for that one, but the kids sure loved it.
Due to my phenomenal success at the dinner table, I am going to share the recipe:
Curry Chicken Skewers
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tbls honey
1 Tbls lemon juice
2 Tbls ginger paste
2 Tbls garlic paste
2 Tsp curry powder
2 Tsp garam masala  (see THIS post for what this is composed of, but you can buy it at the store)
1/2 Tsp ground cumin
1-2 Tsp salt
1 lb chicken cut into 1" pieces (I used breast meat but I'm sure dark meat would work fine too)

Whisk all marinade ingredients together until well blended.  Add chicken pieces to large ziploc bag or bowl, pour in marinade mixture, move chicken around until evenly coated.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (I'd recommend a couple of hours or even overnight).  
Line rimmed cookie sheet with foil.  
Soak bamboo skewers at least 10 minutes (I didn't actually do that and my skewers suffered).
Place oven rack near the top oven burner (I used the second slot down from the top).  Preheat broiler.
Remove chicken from the fridge and skewer chicken pieces loosely onto skewers.  Brush with remaining marinade.
Broil chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.  These could be barbecued instead.

I only made half this much chicken, and it turned out to be not quite enough, so I converted the recipe to cover a whole pound of chicken.  In the process, I found THIS great web page to help with measuring conversion. 

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