Welcome to The Alexis Show! This week’s feature recipe is Pu-erh Tea Chicken & Mushroom Kabobs.
Pu-erh tea, known for its very rich, woodsy and earthy flavor, can often have aromas and tastes of mushrooms, tobacco smoke and even hints of leather, all depending upon if its cooked or raw and how long it’s been aged. The deep, earthy notes add a complexity that sings when mixed with umami notes of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and other ingredients in the marinade. Swap chicken with tofu or sweet carrots for a vegetarian skewer.
Makes 8-10 kabobs
3 tablespoons Pu-erh tea
1 ½ cups water
½ cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
8oz baby Porcini or Crimini mushrooms, sliced into ¼ to ½ inch thickness (note: use any mushroom you like)
1 pound chicken thighs (skinless & boneless) cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red onion, cut and separate layers into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
8-10 wooden or metal skewers
(tip: soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to
ensure that they won’t be flammable)
1. Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of Pu-erh tea to an infuser and brew in boiling water for 6 minutes. Strain and reserve tea leaves.
3. Stir honey into hot tea and let tea completely cool to room temperature (for quicker cooling, place brewed tea in fridge or freezer, making sure that mug or tea pot is covered to preserve freshness/flavor).
4. While the tea cools, prep chicken and vegetables. In a large bowl, mix soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and wet steeped tea leaves and then add room temperature tea.
5. Pour marinade into an airtight container or bowl, and add onions, mushrooms, chicken and mix to ensure that they are completed covered by the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap or seal airtight and let the ingredients marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (overnight recommended but no more than 24 hours).
1. Heat grill or an indoor grill pan on high heat until very hot.
2. Thread mushrooms, chicken pieces, onion and bell peppers onto each skewer (note: do not crowd ingredients on each skewer or they will not cook properly).
3. Place each skewer on the grill and cook 5-6 minutes on each side until ingredients are slightly charred and cooked (if you find that they’re sticking, use a light cooking oil spray).
4. Remove from the grill and serve warm.
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