It’s always great when you can get two meals out of one hour in the kitchen. Today, I’m continuing with my Eat More Greens in 2013 campaign with another way to enjoy the nutritional power house that is greens: kale, collards, beet greens, dandelion greens, gai lan – you name it, I’ll be cooking with it this year.
After our Kale-a-palooza party, I posted the Monster Green Power Smoothie to start your days off with a brain and body energy punch, and today it’s a Kale and Peanut Chicken Salad Wrap for lunch with the bonus Chicken and Apricot Skewers recipe that’s the precursor to the wrap thrown in, so you’re getting two meals in one. What could be better than a Double Duty Dinner, one easy prep, while you’re watching the downward spiral of your husband’s team and Super Bowl hopes wither and die, that results in two
touchdown satisfying meals? Except perhaps the Patriot’s not looking so miserably wimpy in the NFL Playoffs and maybe someone else doing the cooking… truthfully, if you want to skip the skewer bit and grill the chicken in a grill basket with apricots (or persimmons or tangerines if summer and stone fruit season are long gone), it’s even easier. And, if the weather isn’t conducive to a pleasant grilling experience, break out the George Foreman or panini grill :)
I’m going backwards because the wrap actually starts as the Chicken and Apricot Skewers with Peanut Sauce, show above / recipe below. Reserve the remainder of the peanut sauce and you’ll have everyone wondering how you do it when you come to the office with a mouthwatering, better-than-store-bought looking wrap. Spread some of that exotic, yet familiar, flavored peanut sauce on flatbread or a tortilla, slice the chicken, top with a handful of Rainbow Kale Salad (shown with baby chard tucked in for a flourish at the ends), drizzle with more sauce and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts because a little more crunch is always appreciated and wrap it all up. Scrumptious and healthy!
Chicken and Apricot Skewers with Peanut Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2012 Yield: 6 servings
1/2 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk*
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon (packed) light brown sugar
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves*
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped jalapeño (about 1 large, with seeds for more heat, or remove seeds for less heat)*
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into twenty-four 1-inch chunks
6 firm ripe small apricots, halved, pitted
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanut, coarsely chopped
Garnish: cilantro sprigs, lime wedges
Special equipment: 24 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes.
*Note: I used Trader Joe’s light coconut milk, but if you don’t have a TJ’s near you, most supermarkets stock coconut milk in the Asian or Latin foods section.
*I have substituted Harissa paste when I didn’t have any fresh chile peppers on hand and parsley for cilantro. Sriracha would be good, too – feel free to experiment, that’s the fun of cooking
1. Puree the first 6 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and jalapeño 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).
2. 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 the meat marinates, the more flavorful it will be).
3. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat your gas grill on high. Holding two skewers parallel to each other and 1/2 inch apart, thread 1 piece of chicken onto the skewers, then 1 apricot half and another piece of chicken. Repeat with remaining skewers for a total of 12. Season with salt and pepper and brush with some marinade from the bag. Discard remaining marinade.
Note: the boneless chicken thighs didn’t really cut into firm cubes and were a bit floppy and difficult to neatly thread onto the skewers – next time I’m using breasts. Also, you use two skewers because they lay better on the grill and don’t twirl around when turned.
4. Grill skewers on one side until chicken is browned, 3-4 minutes. Turn and grill until other side is well browned, 3-4 minutes longer. Move to a cooler part of the grill. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with cilantro sprigs and peanuts and drizzle with reserved marinade. Serve with lime wedges alongside for squeezing over.
For the wrap: Reserve leftovers for a deliciously healthy and easy to make Kale and Peanut Chicken Wrap for lunch the next day. Only additional ingredients to add to the shopping list are wraps (I use brown rice tortillas – they’re gluten free – or Flat Out multi-grain flatbread, both have less calories, lower sodium, and more fiber than flour tortillas) and Cut N’ Clean Greens Asian or Kale Salad mix.