Eight ingredients, plus pantry staples. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a feast for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.
We’re right in the middle of fall, but the weather hasn't become so consistently chilly that I’ve started to crave cold-weather foods yet. For times like these, it’s nice to have a repertoire of dishes that will work year-round, regardless of the weather.
These chicken teriyaki skewers are just such a dish. All of the ingredients should be easy to find at the grocery store at any time of the year. Also, though the recipe is written to be made indoors, this would be easy to move out to the grill, should a gorgeous fall day move you to barbecue one last time.
Nothing about this dish is complicated. Marinate some chicken and some veggies, then stack the pieces onto skewers and broil them for a few minutes. Feel free to change up the vegetables to suit your tastes. Skewers make it easy to customize portion sizes: For those with lighter appetites, two might do just fine, while four makes a fairly hearty serving.
Rice would make an easy, classic accompaniment to the skewers, but I decided to serve a simple edamame salad instead. The salad is tasty whether warm, room temperature or chilled so it’s a good option to keep in mind if you need to be flexible about timing or want a side dish that can sit out for a bit.
I’m sure it would be easy to find a white wine match for this dish, but I was looking for a red on this particular evening. With the mixture of vegetables, chicken and a sweet-savory sauce, I aimed for a light- to medium-bodied wine, not high in tannins, that would be fruity and have umami notes as well. I opted for a Chilean Pinot Noir from the Casablanca Valley and a Rioja Crianza from Spain.
I served the skewers for dinner one evening with my husband and a friend, and we all sampled the wines alongside the food. I’d expected the Pinot Noir to be the match, and it worked well enough. This was a ripe version with savory touches, just as I’d wanted. It wasn’t intrusive or discordant, but it didn’t shine.
The Rioja also struck a balance between fruit and savory elements, with bright cherry flavors and notes of tobacco, but served with the food it did a much better job of unifying the two threads. This red brought out the umami notes in the mushrooms and sauce, highlighting the soy flavors, and turned out to be the evening’s unanimous favorite.
Pair with a Rioja red or other Tempranillo-based blend from Spain, such as Cune Rioja Crianza 2012 (91 points, $13).
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus marinating time
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Approximate food costs: $31
1. Cut chicken fillets into large cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and coat with 1/3 cup of the teriyaki sauce, then marinate for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
2. Steam broccoli florets in a steamer basket set in a pot with about 1 inch of water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then transfer the broccoli out of the pot and allow to cool.
3. Wipe out the pot. Return the pot to the stove and add a small amount of cooking oil, followed by the diced onion. Sweat the onions over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and set aside.
4. Lightly toss the mushrooms, onion chunks and broccoli with 1/3 cup of teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Assemble the skewers by alternating the mushrooms, broccoli florets, onions and chicken, with about 3 of each item per skewer. Arrange the skewers in single layers on baking sheets.
6. Cook the skewers under the broiler on high for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through. (Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F.)
7. While the chicken is cooking, combine the edamame with the cooked diced onions. Toss with the toasted sesame oil and the rice vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
8. Once the chicken is cooked through, serve the skewers on a bed of the edamame salad. Drizzle with a little more teriyaki sauce or serve extra on the side. Serves 4 to 6