Double Whammy: Chicken and Lamb Skewers

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Like it says in the description… this is a double whammy. Last weekend, I had the one of my favorite pleasures: cooking with my cousin up in New York. We always have such a lovely time together that when we add cooking (and he’s a pro-chef, so we always do) – I can barely wait for the four hour trek up the coast. We knew we wanted lamb. We knew we wanted chicken. We didn’t really want to buy caraway seeds, especially not after searching for peppercorns was such a disaster – but you do what you must for delicious recipes from Bon Appetit, which naturally almost always end up tasting like heaven.

Recipes Below From Bon Appetit:

Soy-Basted Chicken Skewers (Adapted)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/4 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Sprinkle: 1 tbsp chives chopped, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, salt
  1. Start out with prepping the sprinkle and mix together all of the ingredients (yes, it’s that easy)
  2. On the stove, combine brown sugar, mirin, soy sauce and vinegar – and take 1/4 cup of that mixture and pit in a large (gallon) plastic bag.
  3. Slice your chicken thighs lengthwise (please get your meat boneless) and massage the shit out of the chicken into that marinade (it smells so good, it’s almost unbelievable) – and then chill for 2-12 hours (you can imagine… I opted for 2)
  4. It’s been two hours yay!
  5. Bring the marinade to a simmer and reduce it by half (think of that thick glaze you want on top of the chicken) 8-10 minutes
  6. Prep either a grill or cast-iron skillet with oil. Thread your chicken onto skewers (We only had about four in the end with this recipe)
  7. On medium high, season lightly with salt and put on the chicken until browned and beginning to char (around 4-6 minutes) – depending obviously if you’re using the grill or a stove. Ready for the best part? Glaze ON that delicious soy glaze and let it cool (30 seconds longer… you’re almost there)
  8. Top with sprinkle and yeah I guess you can wait for it a bit so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth (but why on earth would you do that?)

Cumin-Chile Lamb with Garlic Yogurt (Adapted)

Ingredients

  • Garlic Yogurt Dip (1 garlic clove, grated, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 cup plain greek yogurt, salt and pepper to season)
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 lamb pieces (shoulder? maybe…)
  • salt and pepper to season
  1. Start with the easy part (as you should with all recipes) and make the garlic yogurt. Mix everything and try not to eat it raw… I admit without shame that I ate it with a spoon. Cover and chill.
  2. Grind together (or if you’re lazy, just buy everything pre-ground and mix together) peppercorns, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, red pepper and sugar
  3. Thread the lamb onto skewers (we again had around four), season them with salt and spice blend that you just made
  4. Prepare the grill or again *cough* the cast-iron skillet that you’re using on the stove. Begin that GRILL. It takes around 4 minutes on a grill or a bit longer on a stove, just look for char spots and the browning (and don’t forget that delicious smell) In the end, I would expect 10ish minutes…. depending on how you want it cooked
  5. Top it with obsessive amounts of garlic yogurt and eat it.

We probably didn’t need both of these recipes. My stomach knew the truth. But when cooking is more of a measure of enjoyment rather than necessity, nonsense tracks into weird recipes. Somehow, while standing near the counter in classic bachelor style and licking garlic yogurt and soy glaze off my fingers in a decidedly non-Bon Appetit approved manner – everything came together. Two of the lamb and chicken skewers were polished off – and admittedly I could have eaten more… but I wasn’t in the mood to get my stomach pumped for large chunks of lamb and chicken. All in all, despite thinking that I couldn’t handle recipes that are more “classy” like these – I feel much more confident in cooking animal protein after this weekend (and thank goodness) – because if nothing else, that should be included in the adulting handbook of life that has, as of yet, not been published.

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