I love the Secret Recipe Club! I've been lucky enough to meet yet another wonderful blogger through my club assignment, and this month I almost feel as though I've met a soulmate (she just doesn't know it yet!).
Chris, from The Cafe Sucré Farine, is a delightful wife, mother and grandmother with a flair for food and photography. My first visit to her site had me printing recipe after recipe and she is a girl after my heart with her mouth watering grilled dishes. Immediately catching my eye was the Tequila Citrus Chicken with Grilled Peach and Raspberry Salad. However, just a few scrolls down I switched gears and found the Peach and Cherry Scone Shortcake quickly followed by a Yeasted Belgium Waffle.
Having taken Spanish while in high school, my understanding of the title of the blog was left as, "Something foodie with coffee and sugar...". Chris' story however is far more interesting as it is simple. A set of canisters in her kitchen with the French words for Tea, Coffee, Sugar and Flour (Thé, Café, Sucré, and Farine) led to a family friend (and frequent lucky "enjoyer" of her treat filled kitchen) to say, "That's it, Mrs. S! The name of your restaurant -The Café Sucré Farine"! After reading much of her blog, I'm here to say that's a restaurant I'd visit any day. Chris' smile and friendly way of writing has you feeling like you have been welcomed into her warm kitchen and you are eagerly awaiting the next treat fresh from the oven while enjoying a nice afternoon chat.
At this point I have to admit that I am not really a fan of bacon, however my family adores the cured meat whether it's a simple crispy/chewy piece of bacon or featured in a dish. The smell alone does me in, but I especially don't like the "feel" of the uncooked bacon. This recipe pushed me to the edge with a requirement to actually puree, yes... puree, the bacon and then rub it over the chicken. Strange and I didn't really like doing it , but after the first taste, I deemed it absolutely and totally worth it!
Two strips of uncooked bacon are indeed pureed with a little sugar, smoked as well as sweet paprika and salt. Rubbed over the sliced chicken and then threaded onto skewers, the kabobs are then grilled and brushed with BBQ Sauce for a delicious finish.
Tender, juicy, and simply exuding flavor, these kabobs were indeed fabulous. The entire family reached for seconds and mommy was the star of the evening (I love those kind of nights!). Most enjoyable though, was watching my dog salivate as I chopped up a little leftover piece to mix in with his kibble. He literally leaped to his bowl and within minutes had licked it clean.
Chris, what a treat it has been to "meet" you! I will forever be an ardent follower of The Café Sucré Farine and I look forward to more delightful dishes coming from your kitchen.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Bacon
Tender and extraordinarily flavorful chicken sure to be a hit at any gathering. Simply exuding flavor the kabobs are good fresh from the grill, or packed in a basked for a picnic.
2 pounds boneless chicken breast, or skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes (see note)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 10-12-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes (or longer) before using
1 cup barbecue sauce, your favorite, we like Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar
1. Toss chicken and salt in large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
2. Heat gas grill to medium high,
3. Divide barbecue sauce, 1/2 for grilling and the other 1/2 for passing at the table.
4. While grill heats, pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine sweet paprika, sugar, and smoked paprika in small bowl. Process bacon in food processor until smooth paste forms, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl twice during processing. Add bacon paste and spice mixture to chicken; mix with hands or rubber spatula until ingredients are thoroughly blended and chicken is completely coated. Thread meat onto skewers, rolling or folding meat as necessary to maintain 1-inch cubes.
5. Place kebabs on grill, turning one-quarter turn every 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until well browned and slightly charred, about 8 minutes for breasts or 10 minutes for thighs. Brush top surface of kebabs with ¼ cup sauce; flip and cook until sauce is brown in spots, about 1 minute. Brush second side with remaining ¼ cup sauce; flip and continue to cook until brown in spots and instant-read thermometer inserted in center of meat registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 degrees for thighs, about 1 minute longer. Remove kebabs from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve, passing reserved barbecue sauce separately.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated