If there is something nobody ever gets tired of making and enjoying over the summer, it has to be kabobs. These can be made with any kind of meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables. Some feature alternating pieces of meat and vegetables while others might have fruit chunks. Some are marinated while others are basted during cooking to offer additional flavor. Chicken is a popular protein to choose when preparing kabobs for the barbeque because it can be chopped into chunks which will hold together and it cooks quickly on the grill. It is also an economical choice in the grocery store and always worth grabbing when on sale because you can freeze it. You will need a medium chicken breast cut into 1½ inch chunks for this recipe.
Along with the chicken these kabobs have bell pepper, red onion, peaches and cherry tomatoes. You might like to omit some of these ingredients or make swaps. Whole button mushrooms would work here instead of the cherry tomatoes, or you could swap the peaches for pineapple. We are using a special basting sauce to add a delicious flavor to these mixed chicken kabobs. For this, you can blend your choice of white wine or orange juice with rosemary, apricot preserves, chili pepper, and soy sauce. Again, make it your own by leaving out the chili if you prefer a milder taste, swapping the soy sauce for tamari, or using ginger preserves instead of the apricot kind. Any of these would work just fine.
Cooking on a Spit
These chicken kabobs are cooked on long metal skewers. Did you know cooking on skewers, or the spit, has a long history? A spit is a metal rod stuck through either chunks of meat or a whole animal to cook it slowly over flames. Spits can be horizontal or vertical. Although technically a spit is usually large and thick, cooking on metal skewers uses the same technique. As meat cooks it shrinks a little, thereby getting loose, which is why it is vital to ensure it is firmly fixed to the skewer. Ensure your chicken and vegetables are evenly threaded on to the skewers so the skewer goes through the approximate center of each chunk to hold it in place and promote even cooking.
Although large pieces of meat should be allowed to sit for a while before serving, this is not necessary when making chicken kabobs, so you can serve these fresh off the barbeque or just let them sit 5 minutes if you want. Cooking on a spit is believed to be the oldest cooking method, since the first ‘chef’ would have put meat on a stick and held it over a flame to cook. As time progressed, the kitchen hearth came into being, and the spit would be set up in front of the hearth. The heat would be behind it rather than underneath, and there would be a metal pan on the floor to capture the useful fat dripping out of the cooking meat. The better spits would have some kind of clockwork system to rotate them automatically. The meat was usually boiled before being roasted in Europe but never in England where it went on to the spit raw and cooked on there only. These days of course there are many types of spits, barbeques and skewer combinations.
- 1 medium chicken breast, in 1½ inch chunks
- ½ chopped bell pepper (any color)
- 1 chopped red onion
- 2 chopped, pitted fresh peaches
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons white wine or orange juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 1 teaspoon minced red chili pepper
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 5 rosemary sprigs
- Prepare the barbeque for a medium-high heat.
- Alternate the chicken, bell pepper, onion, peaches and cherry tomatoes on 4 long metal skewers.
- Whisk the white wine or orange juice with the chopped rosemary, preserves, chili, and soy sauce.
- Put the kabobs on the barbeque and cook them for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Dip one of the rosemary sprigs in the soy sauce mixture and use it to baste the kabobs.
- Turn them often while they cook.
- They should be done in another 3 minutes or so, but check the chicken is fully cooked through before serving.
- Serve garnished with the remaining rosemary sprigs.
Making kabobs is so simple and anyone can master this wonderful cooking technique. Although we recommend using long metal skewers for this particular recipe, feel free to use bamboo ones if you soak them for 30 minutes first. These delicious kabobs are composed of chicken, vegetables and peach chunks, and the basting sauce has fruity, spicy and savory elements for a wonderful balance. Consider serving these chicken and vegetable kabobs on a bed of hot white rice or perhaps with crusty bread or potato salad. One of these makes a tasty appetizer, or else serve a couple to each person with a side dish or two alongside to make a hearty entrée.
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