Yucatan Chicken Skewers with Peanut BBQ Sauce

  • 6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 24 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 125ml fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 60ml fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp ancho chilli powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Butter lettuce leaves, to serve
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  • Chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
  • For the peanut BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 8cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 250ml Mesa BBQ sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought BBQ sauce
  • 450ml homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo puree
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Mesa BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 675ml tinned plum tomatoes and juices, pureed
  • 225ml water
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 60ml molasses
  • 3 tbsp ancho chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp pasilla chilli powder
  • 2 to 4 canned chipotle chillies in adobo, pureed (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the red cabbage slaw
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 125ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 95g chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Skewer each half chicken thigh with 2 skewers so that they lay flat. Place the chicken in a large shallow baking dish.

Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, honey, oil, chilli powder, and garlic. Pour over thighs and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours.

Preheat griddle to high or griddle pan over high heat.

Remove thighs from the marinade and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until just cooked through.

Remove chicken from skewer, place in a butter lettuce leaf, drizzle with some of the peanut-red chili sauce, and top with slaw, mint, and chopped peanuts.

To make the Peanut BBQ sauce:

Heat the oil in medium saucepan over medium heat; add the ginger and cook until soft. Increase heat to high, add the BBQ sauce and chicken stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Whisk in the soy sauce, peanut butter, chipotle puree, and honey and cook until thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.

To make the Mesa BBQ sauce:

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 30 to 40 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator stored in a tightly sealed container.

To make the slaw:

Place cabbage and onion in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, oil and honey and pour over the cabbage. Add the coriander leaves and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

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