Well the fantastic weather got the best of me this weekend and I hopped on the "everything I eat must be grilled" bandwagon with everyone else in my building. I purchased the new America's Test Kitchen Light and Healthy issue at the grocery last week and have been drooling over their barbecued chicken kebabs ever since. These things looked seriously delicious and the secret ingredient was ::spoiler alert:: BACON. Yes, you read that right... an ingredient in the chicken was bacon. Bacon should always be the secret ingredient!
After investigating the grill situation at our building I managed to secure one of the community grills for the afternoon. Luckily the gas grill was open as after a confusing phone conversation with my dad I was a little hesitant to attempt the charcoal grill. This was, after all, my first time grilling! That's right, never grilled before. My dad is an excellent griller (seriously this guy grills breakfast! even the scrambled eggs and the coffee!) so I have never had to do much more for a grilled meal than show up at home with a smile on my face and an empty stomach. Now that I live far from home I decided it was time to learn to grill. Thankfully, Nick was available to supervise as reading about grilling techniques online had me scared (in my head "flare-ups" were the size of nuclear bombs and I would surely have to stop, drop, and roll!).
After a quick lesson on cleaning off the grates (it's a community grill after all) and letting it heat up first to get those nice char marks he let me loose with just a pair of tongs and a camera. I quickly learned not to open the grill too often, though I do wish the grill had the little glass cutout in the door like the oven so I could micromanage the chicken...
These kebabs were a great place to start. Simply grill for about 4 minutes on each side (lid down with the temp between 350 and 400), brush with BBQ sauce, and grill for 1 additional minute per side. They turned out quite tasty with no accidents and thankfully only small flare-ups (that BBQ sauce can certainty create a flame!). So if the weather is nice where you are this weekend consider this absolutely fantastic chicken recipe... I think you'll love it!
yields 4-6 servings
adapted from America's Test Kitchen
adapted from America's Test Kitchen
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
2 T. paprika
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (less if you don't like it spicy!)
3 slices thick cut bacon
1 portion barbecue sauce (recipe below)
1) Clean the chicken breasts and trim off any fat. Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes or strips.
2) Roughly chop the bacon and place in a food processor. Process the bacon until smooth and paste like (mmmm, bacon paste... ). This should take about 2 minutes.
3) Combine seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar, and cayenne) in the food processor with the bacon and blend well.
4) Spread the seasoning paste all over the chicken until *well* coated. Using metal skewers (or wood skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 4 hours) thread the meat tightly onto four skewers. The bits of bacon will look a little odd (see pictures) but don't worry.... you're doing it right!
5) Pre-heat a grill until the grates are wicked hot and the internal temperature is about 350-400 degrees. Place chicken skewers on the grill, grilling 4 minutes per side. Brush a 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce onto the chicken, coating each side evenly, and grill an additional minute on each side with the flame high. Remove from heat and serve immediately with leftover barbecue sauce on the side.
Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe
yields about 1 cup
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
2 T. grated (or finely minced) onion
2 T. grated (or finely minced) garlic
1 1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 1.2 T. honey
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (less if you don't like it spicy)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1) Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and reduce for about 3-4 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
This stuff is delicious - you may want to make more to eat on other things! It keeps well in an air-tight container for a few weeks... so dress up those chicken nuggets, burgers, and ribs! :)