Tuesday, March 12

Chicken-Apricot Skewers

Anyone who knows me, and especially those I work with, will tell you I'm addicted to dried fruit. Yes, I realize it contains a lot of sugar but I am able to justify it due to all the naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients (none of which occur in the chips and cookies my coworkers snack on ;)

Apricots are among my favorites so I gravitate toward any recipe that includes them. This recipe would also work with fresh apricots but, even in los angeles, they're out of season at the moment.

3/4 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 2 limes
2 tsp (packed) light brown sugar
2 garlic cloves
3/4 tsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves for garnish (I used parsley)
2 tbsp coarsely chopped jalapeno 
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into twenty 1 inch chunks
20-40 dried apricots                                                                                      
Puree first 6 ingredients and 3/4 tsp salt in a blender until smooth. Add jalepeno and blend briefly to combine. Transfer 1/2 cup marinade to a small bowl, cover and chill for serving (return to room temperature before using.) Place remaining marinade in a resealable plastic bag; add chicken, seal bag and turn to coat. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight (the longer it marinates the more flavorful it will be.)
If using the oven, preheat to 375. If using a stove top grill turn burners to medium-high. Holding 2 skewers parallel to each other and 1/2 inch apart, thread 1 piece of chicken onto skewers, then 1 or 2 apricots. Repeat with more chicken and more apricots (using two skewers helps hold the meat and fruit together, preventing them from twirling around when skewers are turned on the grill). Season with salt and pepper, discard remaining marinade. 
If using the oven, place skewers on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Turn, then cook for 15 more. If using the stove top, grill skewers on one side until chicken is well browned, 3-4 minutes. Turn and grill until other side is well browned, 3-4 minutes. Grill a few more minutes if needed so that chicken is cooked all the way through.
Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with cilantro (or parsley) sprigs and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over. 

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