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Murdoch Books’ 365 Challenge: Coconut chicken kebabs

I am psyched to be a part of Murdoch Books first big online challenge. Cooks across the world are working their way through Stéphane Reynaud’s 365 Good Reasons to Sit down to Eat, one dish at a time, over the course of this year.

Reynaud is the best-selling French author of Ripailles and Rotis. and “365 Good Reasons” is a quirky culinary almanac of sorts. The book includes a recipe for every day of the year, including breakfasts, one-pot wonders, roasts, salads, cocktails and everything in between. Included is a a seasonal calendar an cooking tips to help make your dishes a success. 365 is written and illustrated in the same idiosyncratic French style as Ripailles and Rotis and seems to be as lovely to look at as it is as easy to cook from. (Full disclosure – I do not own a copy of the book but having made a couple of recipes already, I think it might have to join my overflowing piles of cookbooks taking over the house. It’s that good).

My first assignment was June 4th: Coconut Chicken Kebabs – a super easy recipe involving very little prep time at all.  It’s chicken marinaded in a blend of coconut milk, honey  and cilantro and barbecued.  The original recipe does not call for overnight marinading but I figured that since I had the time, it wouldn’t hurt and it would make them all the more flavourful.  I deviated from the recipe only in the marinading time and the fact that I grilled them in the oven, since the night I was serving them, it was freezing and pouring with rain, hardly ideal barbecuing conditions.  The recipe calls for dipping the kebabs into the marinade halfway through the cooking time to help the chicken soak up the marinade and flavour, so I basted them throughout the cooking time in the hopes it would replicate this step.  These were flavourful but I was surprised the coconut and cilantro flavour was not more pronounced.  They were alos a little on the dry side, perhaps a combination of the fact that they were cooked in an oven, not the barbecue and that my pieces were slightly bigger than the recipe originally called for?  I served them on a bed of cardamom rice pilaf which was a perfect match.  Next time, I would make a dipping/ pouring sauce from the same ingredients as the marinade to serve, warm, with the kebabs.  The bottom line? A great flavour profile and definitely something I would make again, albeit with a couple of modifications.

Want to read more about the 365 Challenge dishes? Go to Murdoch Books’ 365 Challenge Blog.

Interested in purchasing a copy of Stéphane Reynaud’s 365 Good Reasons to Sit Down to Eat? You can find it on Amazon or, for free worldwide shipping, buy it from The Book Depository.

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33 Responses to Murdoch Books’ 365 Challenge: Coconut chicken kebabs

  1. Belinda @zomppa June 5, 2011 at 06:10 #

    Those kebabs are perfect. Loving this challenge of yours.

  2. Nancy/SpicieFoodie June 5, 2011 at 09:13 #

    Hi Mardi, Oh that cookbook looks like a great one to have. You fist challenge looks scrumptious. As a matter of fact my stomach is growling now. Can’t wait to see all of the recipes from this challenge.

  3. Adora's Box June 5, 2011 at 09:13 #

    Sounds like a good marinade formula. Surely could use this for my next barbecue event.

  4. Paula June 5, 2011 at 10:12 #

    Your kebobs look pretty darn good to me! Too bad that the weather didn’t cooperate as I’ll bet they are just scrumptious when done on the grill. I’m surprised that you found them a little dry, especially having been marinated overnight. Looking forward to the next post of yours on this challenge. Fun!

  5. Nelly Rodriguez June 5, 2011 at 11:51 #

    The kebabs look soo good! Awesome challenge!

  6. Barbara | Creative Culinary June 5, 2011 at 12:58 #

    Love the sound of these; enough that I might have to fashion a recipe myself since I don’t have the book…but I do have the ingredients.

    I realize that for most of my cooking life, I’ve overcooked chicken breast meat. I think our fear of making sure we get it done transpires to that happening easily. I do think things can take a bit longer on the grill since it’s not quite as sealed as an oven..betting that’s exactly what happened when you decided to do that.

    They sure look good though!

  7. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts June 5, 2011 at 15:42 #

    The Kebabs looks wonderful! And the challenge sounds fun!

  8. Liz June 5, 2011 at 20:32 #

    Man, that looks like a fabulous dinner…perfect summer fare. I may need another cookbook!

  9. Swee San @ TheSweetSpot June 6, 2011 at 05:55 #

    Oh oh!! you’re part of the challenge too!! Most recipes in the book are quite simple and have little prep time.. Very nice

  10. kitchenarian June 6, 2011 at 07:41 #

    I love cilantro and it sounds wonderful paired against the sweetness of coconut milk and honey AND I love that you paired it with Dorie’s rice. Great picture.

  11. spiceblogger June 6, 2011 at 08:15 #

    What a great challenge! And these kabobs look delicious. Can’t wait to see the other dishes from this book.

  12. bridget {bake at 350} June 6, 2011 at 08:58 #

    Oh wow….these look amazing!

  13. Kate@Diethood June 6, 2011 at 11:08 #

    Wow! Those kebabs sound amazing. The photos are gorgeous… I can almost pick the skewer off my monitor!

  14. Maria June 6, 2011 at 12:45 #

    Perfect for summer!

  15. Rochelle June 6, 2011 at 14:40 #

    These look fantastic, Mardi. I’m going over to check out this 365 challenge a little more closely :D

  16. Yuri June 6, 2011 at 16:52 #

    Intrigued by the coconut-cilantro marinade :) glad to see u served em in Dorie’s cardamom pilaf. Looks delicious!

  17. Lana June 7, 2011 at 01:31 #

    Mardi, the photos are amazing! I love the combination of the flavors and I wonder why the coconut and cilantro were not more pronounced.
    I loved chicken breast when I was a kid, but lately, I have been buying mostly dark meat, especially for kebobs (we have a great halal Persian store, and I tip my Mexican butchers who work there every time – they love me and I get the best meat! They even clean it for me:)
    This is an interesting event. I am just giggling knowing that you dropped Daring Bakers, only to pick up several other projects! I am totally impressed:)
    BTW, thanks for the wonderful comment on my blog:) So appreciated:)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 19, 2011 at 19:19 #

      Lana, you are so welcome. I did drop DC and DB but this is not an ongoing challenge like that, and so unique, I couldn’t pass up the op!

  18. penny aka jeroxie June 7, 2011 at 10:23 #

    Oh lala! I can’t wait to start mine too…. I better get going

  19. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction June 7, 2011 at 16:10 #

    Yum… Looks like a great recipe. And, that sounds like a fun cooking challenge!

  20. amelia from z tasty life June 7, 2011 at 19:51 #

    what a wonderful book to cook from…the kebabs seems so bite-able (even more now that I have been on a 2 day fast!)

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