Asian Chicken and Fruit Skewers

  • Yield servings

Ingredients

1 -- green tea bag
1 cup hot water
3/4 cup dried apricots
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pineapple
1 1/2 cups finely chopped crisp red apple
3/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 -- teaspooons wasabi paste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes
-- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired
8 large romaine lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Instructions

Place tea bag into a small bowl; add hot water and apricots. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Drain apricots, discarding liquid, then finely chop (kitchen shears work well) and place into a mixing bowl. Add pineapple and apple.

Meanwhile, whisk sweet chili sauce, mustard, wasabi paste, soy sauce and black pepper until well blended. Remove 3 tablespoons; add to fruit mixture, tossing gently to blend. Reserve the remainder for later use.

Place oven rack 6 inches from broiler element; heat broiler. Line a shallow baking pan with foil, then spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Thread chicken on 8 skewers (if using bamboo, soak in water for 30 minutes prior) and place on foil-lined pan. Cook for 2 minutes, then generously brush with reserved sauce mixture. Repeat until the chicken is tender and done, about 8 minutes total. Remove chicken from oven; sprinkle with salt and pepper, as and if desired.

To serve, divide fruit mixture equally among the 8 romaine leaf cavities; sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with chicken skewers. Yield: 4 servings.

Note – this is an Asian riff on the surprisingly interesting and delicious flavors of Jezebel Sauce, a popular southern condiment typically made from apricot preserves with pineapple and apple jelly added, spiked with horseradish and often served over a block of cream cheese. This delicious and healthy chicken dish, quick enough for after work but elegant enough for guests, is lovely with the sesame-seed topped fruit mixture served in romaine "canoes." If black sesame seeds are not available, substitute white ones, lightly toasted.

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