Where the Bold Dare Tread

Kebabs sometimes get a bad rap. Let’s face it, decades of alternating zucchini coins, onion wedges and cherry tomatoes can do that. But this Asian take, with a spicy, sticky glaze, makes for a very convincing comeback, albeit without vegetables.

We were tasked with bringing an appetizer to a small holiday weekend dinner party at our friends Barb and Brad’s house. A few days prior I came across this Sambal Chicken Skewers recipe online at Bon Appétit and thought it would make the perfect dish for the get together. Of course, one has to like strong bold flavors because one taste of these babies and they let you know who’s boss. Only one of the group couldn’t take the heat, and you know it wasn’t me…


Once again Mother Nature was handing us a cool rainy day and I toyed with broiling the skewers instead of grilling them, but decided to brave the elements and throw them on the barby despite the weather. Thanks to hubby for stepping in and manning the grill whilst I prepared our departure.

Once at B&B’s house, the climate only worsened so in the house we stayed, except for Brad who had to finish grilling the pork tenderloin out on the deck. But first, neighbors Mimi and Jack (who we hadn’t seen in a few years) also joined the party with a homemade bruschetta. While our kebabs were still warm, we enjoyed cocktail hour with the appetizers and discussed not only the outdoor climate, but the political one as well, which we all know can be a rather touchy subject…

Brad, Barb and Russ pose for an after dinner photo op. Mimi and Jack are seated in the (poorly taken, mea culpa) photo below.

Thanks B&B for the lovely dinner. Your grilled pork tenderloin, corn salad, and roasted vegetable medley were all a hit! And the chocolate mousse cake for dessert ended the meal on a very sweet note!


Sambal Chicken Skewers



  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces


  1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Remove chicken and thread 4 or 5 pieces onto each skewer.
  3. Transfer leftover marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7–10 minutes.
  4. Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 8–10 minutes.


Recipe by Alison Roman from Bon Appétit

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