There’s something inherently awesome about eating food off of a stick. The only problem is that most American options aren't inherently awesome for you. Corn dogs, chocolate-dunked waffles, fried butter -- there's no reason these empty carbohydrates have to be the only option worth the pedestal.

In fact, most other global cultures turn to protein when it comes to food-on-stick. Throughout the rest of the world you'll find street vendors lancing everything from chicken hearts to squid to scorpions.

While those non-traditional stick-toppers have their own merits, let's start with a food-on-a-stick meat that's more approachable: chicken. The following recipe from Wolfgang Puck elevates the flavors of the bird with a one-two combo of slightly spicy marinade and sweet chutney. (The mild flavor of chicken is compatible with almost any seasoning. Learn How to Roast a Chicken and don't be afraid to experiment with your favorite herbs, spices, and sauces.)

You could, technically, pull the meat off the skewers before serving, but what fun is that? Hoist your stick and dig in -- without the after-meal guilt.

Tandoori-Style Chicken Kabobs with Mango-Ginger Chutney
Recipe by Chef Wolfgang Puck, author of Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy
What you’ll need:

1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken pieces, half white meat, half dark meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water about 1 hour
¾ tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp finely chopped scallion
1 ½ tsp finely chopped fresh ginger, plus 1 Tbsp
1 ½ tsp finely chopped garlic
¾ freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
¾ tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
¾ tsp peanut oil
½ medium red onion, diced
¼ jalapeno, finely chopped
½ stalk fresh lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ tsp dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼-inch dice
Zest of ½ orange
Juice of ½ orange

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How to make it:
1. Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and arrange in a shallow dish.

2. In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted seeds to a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt, honey, scallion, 1 ½ tsp ginger, garlic, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes. Blend thoroughly. Add the cilantro leaves and process until pureed.

3. Pour the marinade over the skewers, turning them to coat the chicken evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

4. Prepare the mango-ginger chutney. In a medium sauté pan, heat the peanut oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the jalapeno, ginger, lemongrass, brown sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until syrup, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully stir in the vinegar and cook until well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mango, orange zest, and orange juice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chutney is thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chutney to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

5. Transfer the chutney to a blender or food processor and pulse until coarsely pureed. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

6. Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Remove the chicken kabobs from the marinade, shaking off excess marinade. Season the kabobs with additional salt, if desired. Grill the chicken until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve the kabobs with the chutney. Makes 4 servings.

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