To make a tomato-based spicy sauce for chicken skewers, char whole tomatoes, garlic, and chiles on a grill, then pulse them in a blender. Cook briefly with sauteed onion until the sauce is reduced and thickened. This is the classic Mexican ranchera sauce. Use more or fewer chile peppers according to your tolerance for spice. Weave chunks of boneless chicken breasts onto metal or wood skewers (soak the wood ones for 30 minutes before using), then grill the skewers and serve with rice and the sauce.
|2||large tomatoes, cored|
|2||jalapeno or serrano chile peppers, cored, halved, and seeded|
|1||clove garlic, skin intact|
|1||tablespoon olive oil|
|1||slice onion, finely chopped|
|Salt, to taste|
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1. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to medium-high.
2. Set the tomatoes, jalapeno or serrano, and garlic on the rack and cook, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until they are charred all over; cool.
3. Remove skin from the garlic. In a food processor, combine the garlic, tomatoes, and chiles. Pulse until smooth.
4. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes more. Set aside.
|2||pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|Salt and black pepper, to taste|
|Canola oil (for the grill)|
1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Toss well. Thread the chicken onto skewers.
2. Brush canola oil over the hot grill rack. Set down the skewers, cover the grill, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook 5 minutes more, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice and ranchera sauce. Elizabeth Mindreau