Alhambres de Pollo (Chicken Shishkabobs)
I found this delicious offering in the northern Mexican village of Muzquiz in the state of Coahuila. If you wish, you can leave off the bacon, but it adds a lot more flavor than fat to the dish.
Ingredients for the marinade and chicken
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pure chile powder from ancho or New Mexico chiles
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 ½ teaspoons dried, leaf oregano
3/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into1 inch pieces. You will need 24 - 36 pieces in all
Directions for the marinade and chicken
Mix together the lime juice, chile powder, salt, garlic, and oregano, then slowly whisk or stir in the oil until it is well combined. Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces in a nonreactive bowl and marinate for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours, but no longer or the lime juice will begin to “cook” the chicken as in ceviche.
Ingredients for the shishkabobs
1 large poblano chile, or substitute a green bell pepper, stemmed and seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 white onion, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3 pieces bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
4 small Roma tomatoes cut into 3 pieces each
4 Shishkabob skewers
Directions for the shishkabobs
1. Light the fire. Light a wood or charcoal fire, or start a gas grill.
2. Blanch the chiles and onion. So that the chile and onion will not be only partially cooked when the chicken is done, put them into a small strainer, immerse them in boiling water for about 5 seconds, remove them, and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
3. Prep the shishkabobs. Thread the ingredients on the skewers in roughly the following order: 1 piece pepper, 2 pieces onion, 1 piece tomato, 1 piece pepper, 2 pieces onion, 1 piece bacon, 2 - 3 pieces chicken, 1 piece bacon, 2 pieces onion. Continue in the same order until you have three sections of chicken and three pieces tomato on each skewer, and end with a piece of pepper.
4. Grill the shishkabobs. Broil the kabobs over medium hot coals, turning as each side browns, until the chicken is just cooked through. Serve with Mexican or white rice.