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An easy grilled chicken you'll go bananas over

Published September 4, 2013 1:01 am

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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Most of us have a pretty limited banana repertoire. We eat them straight up, baked into quick breads, pureed into smoothies, or sliced into fruit salad or some sort of breakfast food. That's about it.

But a friend recently — if unknowingly — introduced me to the savory side of bananas, and I was completely smitten.

Sassy Latina chef Daisy Martinez loves working big, bold flavors into easy dishes. That's my style of cooking. So when she recently launched a great new web video series, I was eager to watch the first episode — a breezy walk through her take on fried chicken. I'm sure the chicken is delicious, but it was one offhand comment about a condiment that really caught my attention.

Banana ketchup.

Sounds odd, yes. But I'll confess that I consider ketchup — in all its forms — to be a major food group unto itself. And I simply had to try Daisy's recipe. Turns out it is easy to make and delivers an amazing sweet and tangy punch that blew me away. Think of it as the Hispanic equivalent of Asian sweet-and-sour sauce. It totally works.

I've now used this sauce on chicken in several ways. The easiest is to simply cut up boneless, skinless chicken breasts, saute them with olive oil and onion, then dump in the sauce and just bring to a simmer. Serve this on tortillas, in buns, over rice or just straight up. But since grilling season still is going strong, I decided to create a recipe suitable for chicken on the grill. —

Chicken kebabs with chili-banana sauce

Briefly brine the chicken breasts when cooking them kebab-style. It adds flavor and keeps them from drying out.

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1-inch chunks

1 1/2 bananas

1/2 cup ketchup

1 to 2 whole fresh jalapenos (for less heat, split them open and remove the seeds and ribs)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or cider vinegar

In a large zip-close plastic bag, combine the water, salt, paprika and pepper. Close bag and shake to blend, then add the chicken. Seal tbag, then turn to coat the chicken. Refrigerate 30 minutes. If using wooden skewers for the kebabs, soak them in water while the chicken brines.

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor combine bananas, ketchup, jalapenos and vinegar. Puree until very smooth. Set aside.

When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium-high. Use an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to oil the grill grates.

Remove the chicken from the brine, then thread pieces onto 4 skewers. Grill, turning regularly, until cooked through, about 12 minutes total. Using a basting brush, lightly coat the kebabs on all sides with chili-banana sauce, then grill for another minute. Transfer the kebabs to serving plates, then drizzle each with additional sauce.

Servings • 4

Source: Associated Press