Chicken and ciabatta brochettes with mojo picón

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Chicken

Chicken and ciabatta brochettes with mojo picón

Starter Serves 4 1h 15 min
Mojo picón is a pepper sauce from the Canary Islands and is a fantastic accompaniment to meat. Picón means spicy, but with the (admittedly unconventional) mild and creamy roasted red peppers, it makes a great alternative to ketchup. With the added vinegar, it will keep for a week or so or can be potted up and pasteurised in clean glass jars, in which case it will keep for a couple of months. It's particularly good on burgers or as a dip.

Ingredients

Mojo picón:

  • 1 thick slice white bread or ciabatta
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying the bread
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 fresh red chillies, destalked and deseeded
  • 4 large red peppers, halved
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • pinch of salt

Main

  • 150g stale ciabatta bread, crusts trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 400g chicken breast fillets
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • drizzle of olive oil

Method

Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 45 min

To make the Mojo picón

  • Step 1

    Roast the red peppers in a hot oven until blistered, cool in a plastic bag and remove the stalks, skin and seeds.
  • Step 2

    Fry the bread in a little olive oil until it begins to brown and crisp up on the outside. Drain on kitchen paper and tear into pieces.
  • Step 3

    Blitz the roasted peppers and chillies, garlic, cumin seeds, paprika, fried bread, vinegar and salt until you have a smooth paste. Add the olive oil in a thin drizzle, pulsing frequently, until it's quite runny. It will continue to firm up as the bread absorbs the liquid.

To make the brochettes

  • Step 1

    Skin the chicken and cut into 2cm cubes. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the paprika, cumin, some black pepper, oregano, thyme and garlic. Mix well, drizzle over the olive oil and marinate for an hour or, ideally, overnight.
  • Step 2

    When you are ready to cook the brochettes, thread the bread and meat on to skewers (if you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes to stop them burning).
  • Step 3

    Mix a little more olive oil with the remaining marinade and brush onto the skewers, paying particular attention to the bread. You want the bread to soak up as much liquid as possible, so it doesn't cook too fast.
  • Step 4

    Cook under a hot grill for about 2 minutes on each side – you want them to be cooked through but still juicy on the inside with the bread crisp and crunchy. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the mojo picón.

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