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Friday, July 22, 2011

Mango-Habanero Chicken Kabobs

The Habanero Chili Pepper is one of the most intense peppers on the Scoville Scale, with a rating of around 100,000 to 350,000 units.  If you compare this rating to that of a Bell Pepper with zero units, an Anaheim Chili around 500-700 units, and a Tabasco pepper around 30,000 units, the Habanero carries a huge punch of heat in a very small package.  The peppers are usually only about an inch long and are most often orange or red and can be found in most markets.  For the most flavor from this slightly citrus-flavored pepper, but a little less intense heat, use the outside of the pepper and discard the seeds. 

In this recipe, when you combine the spicy Habanero with the sweetness of a Mango, you get an amazing flavor combo that can be used on chicken, pork, shrimp or tuna steaks.

4  Large Mangoes
1  Habanero Pepper, fully ripe
1/2 cup  Lime Juice
3-inch Piece of Ginger, grated
1/4 - 1/2 cup  Sugar
1 - 2 cups  Water
4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
Salt and Pepper

Prepare Sauce in Advance:  Remove stem from the habanero and add the whole pepper to a food processor.  Remove the pit from each mango and add the flesh to the food processor. Blend until smooth.

In a medium saucepan, over low heat, combine the lime juice, ginger, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup water.  Continue to stir over low heat until completely blended.

Bring the mixture to a low boil and allow the sauce to thicken, about 30 minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust the sweetness as needed.  The sauce should be a bit sweet but the pepper flavor should come thru also.  If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a bit more water, just a teaspoon at a time, until the  desired thinkness is reached.

Refrigerate overnight and use as a marinade on chicken, pork or even shrimp or serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

When ready to grill kabobs, skewer 6 - 8 pieces of chicken onto metal skewers.  Lightly coat each kabob with mango sauce and grill over medium heat.  Turn several times adding a light coating of sauce with each turn. Serve with sweet potato fries and a side of extra sauce.

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