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The Grilling Book: Recipe #1 – "Chicken Skewers with Coriander Marinade and Lemon Salsa"

  • Aaron F.
The first recipe I have chosen to tackle in “The Grilling Book” is chicken skewers with coriander marinade and lemon salsa.  Lets take a look at the ingredients:

2 Lemons
1/2 cup Cucumber finely chopped
3 Tbsp of thinly sliced Scallions
1 Chili finely chopped
Pinch of suger and Kosher salt
1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1.5 inch pieces
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of fresh chopped Cilantro
1/4 cup plain whole milk Yogurt
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil plus more for brushing
2 Garlic Cloves coarsely chopped
1 Tsp fresh cracked coriander seeds
1 Tsp Turmeric (optional)

Using a sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from lemons; discard. Cut between membranes to release lemon segments into a medium bowl; squeeze juice from membranes into bowl and discard membranes. Strain juice into a clean bowl; reserve lemon segments and juices separately.  Mix segments, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (set aside remaining juice for another use), cucumber, 2 Tbsp. scallions, and chile in a small bowl. Stir in sugar; season salsa to taste with salt and set aside. Place chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Purée ¼ cup cilantro, yogurt, 1 Tbsp. oil, garlic, coriander, and turmeric, if using, in a mini food processor or blender until smooth. Pour marinade over chicken; toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Do Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing. Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Brush grill grate with oil. Thread 4 pieces of chicken on each skewer. Grill, turning once and watching closely to prevent burning, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon lemon salsa over chicken. Garnish with remaining 2 Tbsp. cilantro and 1 Tbsp. scallions.

    A few things about this recipe from the average Joe perspective.  I changed the recipe a little bit because I couldn’t find the “Meyer Lemons” the books recipe called for.  It stated that I could use regular lemons but to not use as many due to the tartness of them.  So I used 4 lemons when making the recipe, which was way too many.  2 would be fine in the future.  Also, I had never worked with coriander seeds before, so the way that I cracked them was by putting them between two sheets of paper towel and rolling over them with a rolling pin.  Crushing them in a garlic press works as well.
     Before I start grilling, I need to arm myself with a beverage.  I decided to go with a bomber of Ale Smith IPA, a fantastic IPA from the West Coast and one of my favorite hoppy beverages.


The chicken marinates in the purée blend created.  Super Tasty.

This dish turned out awesome.  My first grilling recipe from this book was a total success.  Chicken Thigh meat is delicious on the grill and is incredibly juicy.  The lemon salsa was really tasty as well, however my wife and I both agreed that the salsa without the side of wild rice that we added might have been a little too intense.  Overall, this recipe was solid!