As promised, it’s grilling week here on the blog, and while I don’t profess to be the snazziest spatula-wielding open-flame cook in town, I do know my way around my charcoal - yep, you read that right – grill quite well, and use it fairly often to get dinner on the table.
I should mention that Rob and I don’t share a love for charcoal cooking. He would much prefer to work with something that runs on gas, but I convinced him that hardwood charcoal yields a much better tasting dinner (it does) and he relented and has been working with my summer sidekick ever since.
The key to successfully cooking with this method comes down to one essential ingredient: the charcoal chimney. Without it, our fire-starting success wouldn’t exist, I’m sure. But the brilliant thing about this tool is that it always, always works; just a few briquettes, some newsprint, and a lighter are guaranteed to yield hot coals in less than 30 minutes. Oh, and this magical tool costs less than $10, so there’s that, too.
One of the first dinners we fired up this season was this chicken kebab concoction. The fridge and pantry were mostly bare, save for a few pitiful pieces of produce and a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I didn’t have enough of any one ingredient to make a full meal, but combined they equaled a decent dinner, especially when served with a quick-cooking orzo salad. The kids loved them. In fact, I haven’t seen anything disappear quite as quickly, except for the dessert I made yesterday, which I’ll tell you about later in the week.
Honey Soy Chicken Kebabs
Serves 4 - 6
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 -2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large red onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 small zucchinis, cut into 1-inch thick pieces
- 1 ½ cups cremini mushrooms, sliced in half
- Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, soy sauce, hot sauce, and garlic. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade for brushing onto the kebabs when cooking) and set aside.
Place the chicken, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms in the bowl and toss to combine. Marinate in the fridge for 2-8 hours (the longer the better).
Prepare the grill for medium-high heat. Drain the marinade from the bowl and discard. Thread the chicken and veggies onto the soaked skewers and season well with salt and pepper.
Lightly oil the grill and place the skewers on top. Cook for 10-14 minutes or until the juices run clear, turning the meat frequently and brushing with the reserved marinade. Serve warm or at room temperature.