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The Perfect Meal - Fruit, Veggies and Chicken On A Stick!

What's for dinner tonight?  “Fruit!”  “Chicken!”  “Can we order out?” (no.)  “I'm a vegetarian” (since when?) “Remember, we have friends coming over tonight!”  (Of course I remembered we have friends coming over!). Ever have one of "those" moments?
I will not panic, my kids will eat what is served and I will have fun hanging out with friends tonight - it is my goal and mantra for the night!!  Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs.  Fruit, vegetables, chicken and it's on a stick! Minimum prep, maximum appeal.  That’s how we roll at my house!  A quick side of rice or a good bread and call it the perfect meal.

Check out how easy these are to make:

We have a great local farmers market so I was able to grab some local zucchini, green bell peppers and some cherry tomatoes.  The recipe calls for 1 pound of chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces, 8 cherry tomatoes, 1 green pepper,1 zucchini and 8 1-inch pineapple chunks (feel free to use a fresh pineapple which is always great, but I prefer the ol’ can of already cut pineapple for the easy way!) 

I’m not a kitchen “expert” - Imagine my surprise in learning that teriyaki sauce contains 8 simple ingredients? (which by the way, is 3 past my usual comfort zone).  Wow!  I can’t believe the amount of money I have spent in the past on variations of this simple sauce. 

When preparing a marinade, I usually place my plastic bag in a large measuring cup and fold over the edges so the bag stays upright and easier to work with. This recipe is fool-proof as you put  ALL the ingredients in at once!

Check out the “retro” garlic press!  It takes about 1 to 2 cloves to make a teaspoon. No garlic press?  Totally fine to use minced garlic, too.

Can’t get any easier than this - just combine all ingredients in a large resealable plastic food  bag and shake it up!

Remember to reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade and set it aside to brush on the kabobs while grilling.

I am a complete freak about cross contamination - the last thing I want is for someone to say “went to Alex’s for some dinner and salmonella”.  So... I always use different cutting boards and use separate shears for chicken prep (cutting the chicken with shears is WAY easier then slicing with a knife).

After adding the chicken into the marinade, place the bag into a 13x9-inch pan and then put it into the fridge. Turn the bag occasionally to evenly coat the chicken.    If you have time to marinate the chicken overnight - it will be worth the wait, but up to 3 hours ahead of cook time works well, too.

To save time, I also pre-cut up the zucchini and green peppers. was also fun to use a crinkle-cut knife to make ridges on the zucchini.  It makes me feel so “Martha”....

The ingredients are set out ready to put on skewers.

Alternate threading on the zucchini, chicken, pineapple, green pepper and cherry tomatoes.  Leave room at the bottom of the skewers so you can easily turn the kabobs on the grill.  Skewers can be made a couple of hours ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge until you are ready to throw on the grill.

I like to use metal skewers on the grill - I have the wooden ones, but I always forget to soak them beforehand so they don’t burn or splinter on the grill (if you only have the wooden skewers, try to soak overnight or longer than 4 hours - anything less is basically a waste of time).  

If you are using a charcoal grill you will want the coals to be white before you start to grill.  If using a gas grill,  I have found it best to initially turn the grill temperature to High heat and then turn the temperature down to Medium. 
 
A great tip I learned while attending a cooking class (ok, it was actually a pairing class where they showed you how to make simple appetizers) is to take a cooking spray and directly spray the food BEFORE placing onto the grill.  It helps prevent the food from sticking to the grill. Very important to remember to spray BEFORE you put on the grill - if you spray the food while it is on the grill, you’ll end up with a bon fire, no eyebrows and your friends will talk about you for weeks.

Grill the kabobs for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning the skewers and brushing occasionally with the reserved marinade. The internal temp (if you have a meat thermometer) for chicken should be 160° F. 

Ready for dinner - SO EASY! 

Can’t wait to hear what you think about the Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs!  These were a huge hit at our house.  Easy to make, delicious to eat and something for everyone!  Besides, who doesn’t like food on a stick? Make sure to come back and let me know if your family loved them, too.
 
Next  Liz will be making homemade ice cream.
 
Alex is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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I always seperate the meat from the veggies because the items need differen cooking times.

Posted Jul 13 2011 by Red
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Alex

Thanks for the tip - It's always helpful- i did a few veggie ones for a couple of friends that don't eat a ton of meat - it was great to throw them for a few minutes - they came out great as
Posted July 13, 2011

Looks yummy! Love all the helpful tips. I always use ziplocs for marinades (yes, I too am a total freak about cross contamination!), but will definately try putting into measuring cup next time. Great blog... love your humor :) Oh, and love those skewers. Too cute!

Posted Jul 12 2011 by Diane

I love your humor! I want to try this...sounds great!

Posted Jul 12 2011 by Amy
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Alex

Thanks! It was such a fun afternoon making these! I hope you guys enjoy it too!
Posted July 13, 2011

this looks wonderful, good for you. Having the pictures of how she makes it is a good idea.

Posted Jul 11 2011 by Carolyn

My husband loves kabobs. These look great and I can't wait to assemble them for my husband to cook on the backyard grill!

Posted Jul 11 2011 by Susan
author_photo
Test Kitchen Comment
From:

Alex

Thanks My husband does too! One of the reasons why I made them :) Tell him about the cooking spray ON the food before he grills it to help prevent sticking - it seriously increased my husband's grill game. He always gets compliments from friends when they see him spraying the food with non stick food spray before putting it on the grill. Such a simple tip, but SO effective!
Posted July 13, 2011

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