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Tropical Chicken on Sugarcane Skewers with Peanut-Plantain Dipping Sauce

You may use canned or fresh sugarcane in this recipe. If using fresh sugarcane, use a paring knife to peel and carefully slice stalks lengthwise into skewers 4 to 6 inches long. For canned sugarcane, cut each cylinder lengthwise into 6 to 8 pieces. You will need 36 skewers for this recipe; wooden or bamboo skewers may also be substituted.

  • Yield: Makes 3 dozen
Tropical Chicken on Sugarcane Skewers with Peanut-Plantain Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup store-bought pineapple juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 to 4 oranges)
  • 2 scotch bonnet or other small hot fresh chili peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 unripe papaya, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 unripe mango, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 unripe pineapple, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 firm avocados, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 very ripe plantain, sliced

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rum, allspice, pineapple juice, orange juice, peppers, brown sugar, lemon juice, and peanut oil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until mixture has reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. (The marinade may be kept, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for 1 day.) Place half of this marinade in the bowl of a food processor. Divide remaining marinade between 2 nonreactive baking dishes; set aside.

  2. Arrange 1 piece of chicken on a skewer with 2 pieces of fruit, with the exception of the plantain. Alternate papaya, mango, pineapple, and avocado with chicken on skewers, until all ingredients are used. Transfer skewers to the prepared baking dishes, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Heat a grill pan on the stove over medium heat, or prepare an outdoor grill. Meanwhile, add plantain to marinade in the food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl, and set aside.

  4. Remove skewers from marinade, and place on heated grill, in batches if necessary. Baste with remaining marinade during first half of the cooking process. Cook until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serve on a platter with the reserved sauce.

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