1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce)
24 metal or bamboo skewers (if using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before cooking)
Makes:12 servings (24 skewers)
Dukkah makes everything better. This Middle Eastern spice mix, often including sesame seeds, sumac, and hazelnuts, is most commonly combined with oil and used as a dipping sauce. This recipe coats the chicken in mustard and dukkah and is accompanied by a sweet-sour sauce of honey and balsamic vinegar.
What to buy: If you have the time, you can make your own dukkah. Otherwise look for it at gourmet grocery stores, at Middle Eastern stores, or online at Spice Bazaar.
Game plan: The vinegar-honey sauce and dukkah (if making) can be done up to 5 days ahead. Coat the chicken in the dukkah mix up to 2 hours ahead of time and then refrigerate both. When you’re ready to eat, bake the skewers and warm up the sauce over low heat until it is syrupy. For a slacker solution for the coating, substitute toasted fine breadcrumbs mixed with cumin and sesame seeds.
This recipe was featured as part of both our Wii Night! gaming menu and our Bar Snacks photo gallery.
1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by 1/2, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3Combine mustard and olive oil in a shallow bowl and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss chicken in mustard mixture until well coated.
4Combine dukkah and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a wide, shallow dish and mix thoroughly. Roll each tender in the dukkah mix until well coated.
5Thread a chicken tender on each skewer. Place chicken skewers on wire cooling racks. Nest each wire rack in a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the meat is firm and the dukkah crust is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve the skewers with the vinegar-honey sauce.
Beverage pairing:Taittinger Brut La Française Champagne, France. There’s a lot going on in this dish, making it difficult to match with wine. A good rule to remember in cases like this is that champagne goes with everything. For this recipe, it really does work well: It has the fruit to work with the honey-vinegar sauce and a slight nutty-toastiness to pair with the dukkah.