Stick it to me! With a sweet and smoky eggplant dip, succulent chicken skewers make for late-summer barbecue food that is at its best.
THE CHEF: Robynne Maii
Her Restaurant: Fete, in Honolulu, Hawaii
She is known for her dedication to local, thoughtful sourcing in her hometown of Honolulu. In partnership with her husband, she serves simple New American dishes and promotes Hawaiian food producers and farmers.
AT HER HONOLULU restaurant, Robynne Maii puts a punchy homemade Italian dressing to work in everything from salads to sauces. Here, for her final Slow Food Fast, the chef brings that staple’s flavorful building blocks—red wine vinegar, dried oregano, and olive oil—to a simple marinade for succulent chicken thighs skewered with sweet red pepper. Rounding out the dish is a riff on another Italian standby: a velvety eggplant caponata studded with capers and golden raisins. While Maii suggests pairing the two, the spread is also ace on its own, served as a dip with grilled bread. After all, flexibility is what this recipe—and this time of year—are all about.
Grilled Chicken and Sweet Pepper Skewers With Eggplant Caponata
In combination with a sweet and spicy eggplant dip, succulent chicken skewers are barbecue at its best.
Total Time:35 minutes
- Two huge red bell peppers chopped into 1-inch cubes
- Seven tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
- Salt Kosher
- One tablespoon of red wine vinegar one tablespoon of red wine
- One teaspoon of Italian spice mix or dried oregano
- 2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into one 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 Japanese eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds
- One large yellow onion minced
- 1/4 cup golden raisins, minced
- Two teaspoons of capers chopped
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Four tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Two tablespoons chopped Italian parsley.
- The oven should be heated to 450 degrees. The grill should be heated to medium-high. Within a large bowl, combine peppers in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Separately, in a bowl, mix three tablespoons of vinegar and olive oil along with Italian seasoning. Add the chicken to the vinegar mixture, along with the salt, in a generous pinch. Mix to combine. Allow chicken to marinate for at least 15 minutes before threading on skewers using the peppers, rotating so that each kebab has a mixture. Transfer the kebabs to a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt.
- While the chicken marinates, poke the eggplant on all sides using a fork. (If the eggplant is greater than 1 1/2 inches thick, cut it in half lengthwise to speed cooking.) Place the eggplant on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake until soft, between 25 and 35 minutes.
- While you’re cooking, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons oil until it becomes soft and translucent, around 5 minutes. Add capers, raisins balsamic, capers, Worcestershire, and a pinch of salt. Simmer until flavors meld, about 3 minutes. Remove the heat, and take the soft eggplant out of the skin, and then add it to the pan. Mix until thoroughly combined, and then season with additional salt and olive oil to taste.
- Spray the grill by spraying cooking. Use a brush to apply some oil. Grill skewers until lightly caramelized and cooked through, around 7 to 6-7 minutes on each side. For serving, spoon the eggplant mix onto a plate and then place the skewers over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
When she came up with the idea of establishing a wine bar/bookstore within her town, Austin, she had always dreamed of having an establishment from the time she was a young girl; however, Buckner, as an adult, was aware that the book’s profit margin was extremely low. Buckner needed a complementary business, and wine was an obvious option. Following four years of making plans, Buckner opened Vintage Bookstore & Wine Bar in the month of October 2022. The interior is chic, with tall, dark wood bookcases, upholstered couches, and upholstered seating. But it’s warm and welcoming. “We want to be Austin’s living room,” said Buckner. Books, both either new or used, are around 2,000 and the wine selection, selected by Buckner has 29 glass selections, including The Wade Cellars Three by Wade Chenin Blanc ($14) and Zardetto Prosecco ($10). Bottled wines typically cost more than four times the price of a glass. Every month, Buckner showcases a winery in the state. “We want to raise awareness of Texas wine,” she explained.