Saturday, July 23, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

This is probably the last post you're going to see here for a few weeks. I'm going off to London in a few days to do some research, and I hear the cooking facilities in the University of London dorms aren't up to par (yet another reason that I do not miss dorm living).

Since I will soon be reduced to eating stale crackers and reheated takeout, I'm trying to make the most of the few fresh, healthy meals I have left. Naturally, we've been using the grill. Of course, it would be far pleasanter if we were grilling while chilling out on the deck, enjoying the summer evenings. But alas, triple-digit temperatures have been lasting well into the evening, meaning that dinner has been on the couch, in front of the TV, and near the A/C vents. These are not the bucolic sort of evenings they should be. Nevertheless, the food has been excellent!

I love anything grilled. Even a gas grill manages to impart some sort of magical flavor to everything that lands on it. Grilled meat is just so much more delicious than meat prepared any other way. And that goes the same for vegetables. These skewers showcase summer produce at its best: tender zucchini with its skin beginning to blister, extra-sweet bell peppers and red onions, bright little tomatoes bursting open with the heat, and soft, juicy chicken with tiny bits of char at the edges. It would be delightful on its own, but the addition of a garlic-lemon-parsley marinade really puts it over the top, binding all the flavors together. We've done this recipe three times already - once for a crowd - and it hasn't failed to please. The original recipe calls for a creamy pesto dipping sauce (I originally bookmarked the recipe as a way to use up some basil), but I see no need. What makes this so delicious is that the flavors of the individual pieces are allowed to shine through - even the marinade serves to highlight the beautiful summer produce.

If you're looking for something to make on a lazy summer's evening, chatting in the backyard until the sun goes down - or even if you're huddling around the A/C vents like me - this is a great recipe to try with any summer veggies that you have available.

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
Adapted from

zest and juice of 1 lemon
2-3 stalks fresh parsley
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces (I cut mine into eighths)
8 cherry or grape tomatoes
1 red onion, cut into 1" pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 1" pieces (I cut the smaller zucchini into rounds and the bigger one into half-moons)
1 chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces

Combine lemon zest, parsley and garlic in the food processor and chop.

Pour mixture into a large bowl and add lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Whisk to blend. Toss with vegetables and chicken.

Thread onto skewers (this recipe made six skewers for us - enough for dinner and leftovers!). Coat your grill with cooking spray. Lay the skewers on the grill and cook 12 minutes, turning occasionally. Enjoy!

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