Monday, July 2, 2012

Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

It is an undeniable truth in life that food on a stick is great.  Meat on a stick?  Great.  Vegetables on a stick?  Great.  Dessert on a stick?  Great.  Food and sticks just go so well together.  I took advantage of that fact for one of this week's meals - I made some really fantastic teriyaki chicken kabobs.  The same ingredients could have gone into a stir fry and been tasty, sure -- but really, why not put it on a stick?  

Kabobs are so tasty that Blogger's spell-check really wants to correct their name to "Kaboom!" The high-heat cooking method gives a great char to the vegetables that's hard to get from a pan while keeping the chicken tender and flavorful.  What are you waiting for?  Put some food on a stick!

Here's what I used: chicken breast, bell peppers, sweet onion, pineapple, fresh mushrooms, teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice, and a bit of salt and pepper.

First, go ahead and chop the vegetables down to an appropriate bite-or-two size that will fit on your skewers.  I went ahead and left my mushrooms whole, but if yours are bigger feel free to chop them down, too.

Chop the chicken down into similar, bite-or-two sized pieces fit for skewering.  My chicken wasn't quite done thawing when I chopped it, but that actually worked to my advantage -- slightly frozen chicken is very, very easy to chop into just the right shape and size you're looking for.

The key to a good kabob is a good marinade.  I spiced up my bottle teriyaki sauce with some lime juice, rice vinegar, and sesame sesame oil to make sure that the chicken and vegetables would all be really packed with flavor.

I went ahead and marinated both the chicken and the vegetables (in separate bags) overnight - basically, everything but the pineapple.  Be especially certain not to leave pineapple in a marinade with meats for longer than an hour or so, as pineapple juice will break down meats and make them quite soft and unpleasant if they're in contact too long.

Give the chicken and vegetables plenty of time to marinate -- overnight if at all possible.

When it's time to cook, don't forget to chop your last ingredient - the pineapple!  Before you start chopping, get your skewers in to soak -- soak at least 30 minutes, lest they catch on fire.

Once your skewers have soaked at least a half-hour, assemble your kabobs.  I didn't really have a set pattern for my skewering - I just grabbed whatever seemed right to go next, and tried to make sure that each skewer got at least a few pieces of everything.  Pre-heat your grill or broiler while you assemble and it should be ready to go by the time you're done.

Broil the kebabs for 4-5 minutes per side, turning once, until the vegetables are slightly charred and the chicken is cooked through.  If you have some marinade leftover from the vegetables, feel free to give them an extra basting as you turn halfway through.

Serve hot over rice or your starch of choice.

Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
Prep Time: 15 Minutes (Plus Marinade Time) | Cook Time: 10 Minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 6-8

  • 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1 whole Pineapple
  • 1 large Sweet Onion
  • 2 large Green Bell Peppers
  • 12 oz. Fresh Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Bamboo Skewers
  1. Chop chicken and vegetables into bite-sized pieces large enough to easily skewer.
  2. Combine teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, and lime juice.  Separate into two portions and marinate chicken and vegetables in separate containers overnight.
  3. Soak bamboo skewers at least 30 minutes before assembling kabobs.
  4. Chop pineapple into bite-sized pieces large enough to easily skewer.
  5. Assemble kabobs by alternating all ingredients on bamboo skewers.
  6. Broil kabobs 4-5 minutes per side until vegetables are lightly charred and chicken is cooked through.
  7. Serve warm over rice or other starch.

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