Spicy Chicken Kebabs

Makes 4 servings
Time: about 1 hour, plus marinating time if you have it and time to preheat the grill

Here is a recipe that's great for parties year-round. It will work beautifully with any medium-dark meat, not only chicken thighs, but cubed turkey thighs, pork and even sturdy fish such as swordfish or salmon.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
Minced zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon peanut oil or other oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves, plus a bit more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the chicken thighs into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes. Mix it together with all other ingredients and marinate, if you have the time, in a large dish or bowl in your refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours.

Start a charcoal or wood fire, or preheat a gas grill or broiler; the fire should be moderately hot. Remove the chicken from the marinade and boil the marinade for one minute. Thread the meat onto skewers and grill or broil about 4 inches from the heat source, basting the sauce and turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until browned all over and cooked through (remove a piece and cut it in half to check), a total of 8 to 12 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Chicken Kebabs in Yogurt-Cumin Sauce: In Step 1, replace the marinade with 1 cup yogurt; 1 medium onion, minced; 1 tablespoon minced garlic, the minced zest and juice of 1 lime; 1 tablespoon ground cumin; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste; 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander; 1 teaspoon paprika; and salt and pepper to taste. Proceed.

Chicken Kebabs with Citrus: In Step 1, replace the marinade with 2 tablespoons soy sauce; 1 tablespoon peanut or other oil; the minced zest and juice of 1 medium orange, 1 lemon, and 1 lime; 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 small onion, minced; and salt and pepper to taste. Proceed as in Step 2.