What teaching teaches me: Chicken skewers in red wine marinade

The best teachers consider themselves still being students. I don’t know if I’m the best teacher, but I do learn every class from the people I’m supposed to learn how to cook. And that’s why I would love to see you make these Chicken skewers in Red wine marinade.


“No one.”

That’s my regular answer to a question that I get a lot: “What is your favorite cooking show?”
I mean, is there any cooking in a cooking show nowadays? It’s all about a competition or showing off the hosts personality.

Not my cuppa tea.

Because I do love to watch people cook.

My chef at cooking school, for instance, had so much love for what he was doing, it was a real pleasure to watch him. His big hands were gentle when marinating a piece of meat, determined when rubbing butter into flour for a pie crust, and sometimes he even seem to become into a zen state of mind. With all of us watching!

That never happens to me when I teach, though. I’m much too aware of all the people around me to loose myself in my cooking at those moments.

And I also see that happening to the people who take my cooking classes.
They’re struggling to find all the equipment in a kitchen that’s new for them. To get adjusted to the (slow) electric stove they have to use. To work together with someone they’ve never met. And cooking a recipe for a dish that you’ve sometimes never have heard of, is even in your home kitchen an accomplishment.

And I love to watch that!

Not the struggle of course. Not to feel important myself and showing off with my knowledge and skills. Not any of that. Not at all. Nope! I totally understand their discomfort in a cooking class situation.
They’re is another reason why I love to see how they work with my recipes.

It teaches me so much about how I cook and what is so obvious for me. 

Like in that class where I bought skinless, boneless chicken thighs to make skewers and grill them. My plan was to persuade them how much better this part of the chicken is compared to the breast. My student, though, had another idea and chopped of so much off the boneless skinless chicken thigh that only half of it was left. All the fatty parts he had removed.

Or when I saw someone using only the flower-ly part of the broccoli, discarding the entire stems.

[ You probably get where I’m going to with these examples: please try not to waste food… 😉 ]

Broccoli stems are perfectly edible, you only might want to peel the thick stem quite generously to remove the dried out parts. And cook the stems a bit longer than the open structured flower parts, or chop them into very small pieces for an even cooking time.

And the chicken fat: Yeah, I was once that picky too. I hated the texture of that fatty, slimy, awefully texture. But I’ve learned to like it as it gives so much flavor. And … part of it will melt out, and in skewers you kinda mix it in with the rest of the meat as you have to fumble it to make some sort of nice looking skewers. Okay, there’s where the breasts will win: you can chop those up into nice more or less even pieces.

So here the experiment.

Make this recipe for Chicken skewers in Red wine marinade with both a chicken breast and a boneless, skinless chicken thigh and tell me which one you liked better.

recipe Chicken Skewers with red wine marinade - chicken - illustration by Edie Eats Food Blog by Edith Dourleijn

Chicken skewers in Red wine marinade

Chicken skewers are not hard to make and cook fast. In this marinade, the red wine vinegar not only gives it flavor, it also makes the meat very tender.

Side for 2:
3 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 clove garlic
3-5 sprigs fresh green herbs, like parsley, thyme and/or oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt + pepper

I do:
Prepare the chicken. Cut it into 18 (or so) more or less even sized pieces. No worries if that seems to be impossible, it is.

Make the marinade. Peel and grate or mince the garlic. Finely chop the herbs and mix all ingredients together. Put the meat in and let marinade at least 10 minutes, preferably over 30 minutes.

Make the skewers by fumbling the meat onto the skewers. Make them more or less the same size. Let drip off excessive marinade.

Heat your (stove top) griddle and grill the chicken skewers until they’re done. The bigger the chicken pieces and the closer you crammed them on the skewer, the longer they will take.
Be sure to test them before serving, as you don’t want to eat raw chicken meat. How to test? Just cut one of the bigger pieces open. If that one is firm and white, the meat is cooked and likely the smaller pieces are as well.




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