Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Romesco Sauce
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Romesco sauce has its roots in the Spanish province of Catalonia. Although the mixture has lots of variations, most combine roasted red peppers, nuts, garlic, and crusty bread to make a thick sauce that often tops grilled fish.
8 wood or metal skewers
2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-in. cubes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons plus 1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton; see Notes)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup peeled roasted red peppers (canned or fresh)
1/4 cup whole almonds or hazelnuts, toasted
1 slice crusty bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 bunches green onions, root ends trimmed
1. If using wood skewers, soak in cold water at least 30 minutes before using. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine chicken, cilantro, 3 tbsp. olive oil, lime juice, 2 tsp. garlic, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper. Toss to coat, then marinate, chilled, 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put roasted peppers, nuts, bread, vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp. minced garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil in food processor and whirl until puréed; sauce will be thick.
3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking grate only 3 to 4 seconds). Thread chicken onto skewers, discarding marinade. Drizzle green onions with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Lay skewers on grill (cover if using gas) and cook 4 minutes. Turn skewers over, then lay green onions on grill. Cook 4 minutes, until chicken is browned and cooked through and onions are charred in places. Serve hot, accompanied by sauce.
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