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Grillin' With Chicken...It's All About the Marinade!

Grillin' With Chicken...It's All About the Marinade!

July 23, 2009
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Chicken and vegetables…it’s on our dinner menu at least once a week. But with the hot summer weather, I don’t want to spend my day cooking in the kitchen. Being a native Texan, I always look for something to grill. It gives me an excuse to go outside, it makes for zero to no mess in the kitchen, and best of all, we usually eat outside on our back patio when we grill. BINGO!


The only problem is that it feels like we eat the same old stuff day in and out.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken with roasted veggies…the same old tired things I usually grill.  So I ravaged our refrigerator to see what I could throw on the grill.  What about kabobs?  I decided to try a new recipe- Herb Chicken Vegetable Kabobs. 


I was more curious than anything to make this recipe because I’ve made kabobs many times.  What would set these kabobs apart from the rest?  I was truly skeptical…But boy was I surprised when I took my first bite!  These kabobs weren’t just good, they were exceptional!  What’s the secret?  I’m convinced it’s the marinade.  More specifically, it’s the BUTTER in the marinade.  I thought I knew everything about making marinades.  A little onion, a little garlic, a little lemon, some spices, and some olive oil.  Wrong!  Not only were these the best kabobs I’ve ever eaten, I have a new secret chicken marinade.  I can’t wait to have friends over so I can debut this awesome recipe!


To get started, you need to make the marinade.


Marinade Ingredients:


¼ cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted


1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar


1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


¾ teaspoon salt


¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves


¼ teaspoon pepper


2 tablespoons finely chopped onion


½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic


1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


Combine all marinade ingredients in a large plastic resealable food bag. After I sealed the bag, I used my hand to “mush” it around combining all the ingredients.




Next, chop your chicken breast into 1-inch pieces. I used two large breast halves.






Add your chicken pieces to the marinade, and seal it well. After the bag’s sealed, turn it over to coat the chicken in the marinade.




When you feel like the chicken’s been completely coated in the marinade, put the bag in a pan that is semi-flat. A 13X9-inch pan or a cookie sheet works well. The key is to be sure all of the chicken is touching the marinade.




Refrigerate the chicken for a few hours. I left mine in the refrigerator most of the day. The longer it marinades, the more flavorful the chicken will be!




Drain the chicken using a slotted spoon. Be sure to keep all of the remaining marinade. I left mine in the bag and just resealed it when I was done draining the chicken. TIP: When I took the chicken out of the refrigerator, the marinade was very thick because the butter had solidified. To better drain the chicken, I ran some warm water over the bag for a few seconds to melt the butter slightly.




After you’ve drained the chicken, you need to cook the remaining marinade. I simply poured the marinade directly from the bag into a sauté pan. I also added an extra tablespoon or so of butter to the marinade to thin it out just a little.



Cook the marinade until the mixture comes to a boil. When it’s ready, you’ll notice the color will be a little lighter. It means the chicken protein has cooked.






Remove the cooked marinade from the heat, and set aside for basting.  That onion and garlic smell so good!






 Now that your chicken and marinade are ready, you need to prepare the remaining ingredients…the veggies.




Kabob Ingredients:


                1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces


    8 small fresh mushrooms


8 cherry tomatoes


1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces


1 small summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces


4 metal or wooden skewers


To prepare the squash, I chopped it into circles; then I halved each one. That size makes them easier to skewer than the big round pieces.




The veggies are ready to be skewered. How colorful!




Next, assemble the skewers using the chicken and vegetables. I used a chicken-mushroom-tomato-green pepper-squash pattern, and I repeated it twice for each kabob.




Once your kabobs are ready, heat your grill on medium. Place each skewer onto the grill. I placed mine in a diagonal pattern to create cool-looking grill marks on the skewers, but any way works.




Every couple of minutes, you need to turn and baste your skewers. Don’t forget the ends of the skewers will be piping hot, so be sure to use a potholder or tongs to turn them. I turned and basted mine about four times.




After approximately 15 minutes, the chicken should be completely cooked through and the veggies should be tender and slightly charred.




Serve with a tossed salad or some rice pilaf, and you can’t go wrong. This dish is both delicious and healthy, so there’s no guilt in eating as many as you can. These kabobs will be unlike any other you’ve made. Go start up the grill!




These kabobs are great for your family or serve them at your next backyard barbecue.  Remember to then rate and review the recipe for Herb Chicken Vegetable Kabobs. On Monday watch for the next post - a new "take" on layered salad and with a Southwest twist!

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