How does one (eh.. me!) gets inspiration to make Caramelized grilled chicken skewers with orange marmalade? It has something to do with having lunch, meeting new people and just that feeling in the air.
I tend to talk a lot about inspiration here on my blog. And that’s because it’s such a crazy, elusive thing. One day it’s like it’s in the air, easy to grab and use. On other days you can work hard and search for it in every little corner of your brain, but it slips and runs away from you.
I think you can guess how it was for me the last 10 weeks.
I do have some good excuses though. I moved. I un-boxed tons of cookbooks. I replanted my fruit trees (they survived, but I won’t have fruits this year) and my herbs. I kept the cats inside to have them get used to their new house. Enjoyed the sunset from my deck.
I also went out and actively started to look for people to meet. Foodies to talk food. Food professionals to talk about the food scene here in North County San Diego. Food bloggers and writers to start a new regular writing club to revive my blog.
So yeah, I’ve been busy. And inspirationless when it came to cooking.
And then there was this day that it all came together. Inspiration hit me again.
I was having lunch with Nicole, a winery and vineyard consultant, at a Middle Eastern store and we both ordered the grilled veggie plate. It had saffron rice, falafel, an eggplant spread, some pita’s and 3 tiny pieces of grilled veggies. We nibbled and talked about writing, creativity and inspiration and I lured her into forming a writing club.
A little group of people getting together regularly just to sit down and write.
Guess, what I’m doing right now??!
Okay, that was an easy one.
Just like these Caramelized grilled chicken skewers.
(See my little bridge here? ;-))
As most American plates, this lunch was too much for me, and while eating it inspiration for dinner that night hit me. I would use my lunch leftovers as a starting point, adding some chicken skewers and extra veggies.
So I marinated boneless chicken thighs to make skewers, used remaining/excess marinade and the veggies to beef up the saffron rice. I heat up my stove top griddle for my infamous grilled eggplant salad* and the chicken skewers.
Inspiration to cook and write is back!
* Many of my students in my cooking classes have learned how to make it. And yes, I’m working hard to get some cooking classes started here in North County San Diego too! Check in here regularly or, even better, sign up for my mailing list to stay updated.
Caramelized grilled chicken skewers
Using some sugar or sugar heavy ingredient like jam or, in this case, orange marmalade, not only sweetens your food, but the caramelization of the sugar helps getting some nice grill marks too. Be careful not to burn your food, though!
2-3 boneless chicken thighs
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t powdered ginger
1 T orange marmalade
lemon juice to taste
2-3 T olive oil
salt + pepper
Make the marinade. Mix all ingredients, except the chicken. Add as much lemon juice as you like, start with 2 teaspoons. Before putting in the chicken, it’s safe to taste the marinate. Once it’s to your liking, chop up the chicken and let marinate for a while.
Grill the chicken skewers. Skewer the chicken pieces, don’t crank to many on one skewer for easier and faster cooking. Let excessive marinade drip off (collect it!) while your stove top griddle is heating up. Once the griddle is really hot, grill the chicken skewers turning the heat back to medium and rotating them regularly. Until done.
Tip: You can use the leftover marinade to flavor up the rice or couscous you’re eating the skewers with. Make sure to thoroughly heat it, though.