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updated: 9/6/2011 2:12 PM

Barbecued Kungpao Chicken Thighs with Kohlrabi-Apple Slaw and Split Pea Dal

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  • Oscar Menoyo's Barbecued Chicken Kungpao Thighs with Kohlrabi AppleSlaw and Split Pea Dahl

      Oscar Menoyo's Barbecued Chicken Kungpao Thighs with Kohlrabi AppleSlaw and Split Pea Dahl
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer


8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat

1 bottle (12 ounces) Ying's Kitchen Spicy Kungpao Sauce, divided

2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

1 tablespoon medium-dry sherry

teaspoon sesame oil

1 large garlic clove crushed with press

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated


2 kohlrabi bulbs peeled and julienned (see note)

1 Granny Smith apple cored, peeled and julienned (see note)

red bell pepper seeded and julienned (see note)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

teaspoon sesame oil

teaspoon lemon zest

teaspoon sugar

teaspoon toasted cumin seed, ground (see note)

teaspoon toasted mustard seed, ground mustard (see note)

teaspoon kosher salt

teaspoon Chinese five spice

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Fresh grated nutmeg to taste

For the chicken: Mix 4 ounces kungpao sauce with apple juice, sherry, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in small bowl until well integrated. Place chicken thighs in the bowl and coat thoroughly with the marinade. Transfer content to a one-gallon zip lock plastic bag. Press out air, and seal the bag. Fold the bag and place on plate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (8 hours minimum) turning once at halfway point.

When ready to prepare the meal, remove chicken thighs in marinade from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare charcoal grill with coals to one side. If using a gas grill, leave front-most burner off and turn the rest on high. Upon reaching 400 degrees, spray clean grill top with nonstick cooking spray for high heat use. Shake excess marinade off chicken and place on grill for indirect cooking. Cook covered for 7 minutes with top closed. Using a steel spatula, turn and brush with kungpao sauce (have 4 ounces in a bowl). Cook 5 minutes. Turn and brush with sauce. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Turn and place on a baking pan or cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Brush side facing up with some more sauce. Place in 250-degree oven until ready to serve.

For the slaw: In a medium bowl add lemon juice. Julienne apple first, add to the bowl with lemon juice and mix (this prevents apple from turning brown). Then add julienned kohlrabi, julienned red pepper, chopped mint and mix thoroughly.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour into the other mixture. Toss well and serve immediately.

To serve: Form trio of two pieces of Barbecued Kungpao Chicken Thighs, Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw and the Split Pea Dahl (recipe at Warm remaining kungpao sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds to pass at the table.

Serves four.

Cook's notes: Cumin and mustard seeds should be heated in cast iron skillet over medium heat, rolling frequently until they become fragrant (mustard seeds start to pop). Grind until fine in a whirly style grinder. The vegetables can be done using a sharp knife or using a mandolin style slicer set for a thin julienne or ⅛ inch strips. Lengths of kohlrabi, apple, and red pepper should be even.

Oscar Menoyo, Hoffman Estates