Black Pepper Chicken Skewers
Note: This dish will wake you up! If you’re nervous about the quantity of pepper, cut back on it. Skewering the chicken helps the meat brown evenly and makes it easy to take in and out of the skillet. Have everything prepped before you start cooking, as the dish comes together very quickly at the end. From “Onions Etcetera,” by Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino.
• 3 tbsp. black peppercorns
• 3 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
• Kosher salt
• 1/2 c. soy sauce
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 6 tbsp. butter
• 15 small shallots, thinly sliced
• 9 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 3-in. piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
• 1 to 2 fresh chiles, such as bird’s eye, cayenne, serrano or jalapeño, thinly sliced
• 4 green onions, thinly sliced
• Steamed white rice, for serving
• 1 lime, halved, plus lime wedges for serving
Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the peppercorns.
Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks and thread evenly on bamboo skewers (6-inch skewers fit easily into a skillet). Season the chicken all over with salt and some of the pepper you just ground. Combine the soy sauce and honey, and stir together until the honey has dissolved.
Heat butter in large, heavy skillet over moderately high heat. When it foams, add the chicken skewers in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer skewers to a plate.
Add shallots, garlic, ginger and chiles to the skillet, reduce heat to moderate and cook, stirring from time to time and scraping up any leftover chicken bits from the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and honey, as well as the remaining ground black pepper and cook for about 1 minute.
Return chicken skewers to the skillet, along with any juices that have collected on the plate. Heat the chicken until it is cooked through and well coated with the sticky sauce, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime over the dish and scatter with the sliced green onions. Serve with white rice and lime wedges.