I had plans last week to post two more recipes to my blog. I was going to pull weeds from my flower gardens. I was sure I’d finish reading "Real Food: What to Eat and Why," by Nina Planck, for this month’s book club discussion. I had several things on my summer "To Do" list and I was certain I’d at least get the front door cleaned and sanded in preparation for painting. I didn’t get even one of those things accomplished.
I was training my new kitchen assistant all week. It took much more time and energy than I’d expected. Gracie May is very smart and learns very quickly, but she needs close supervision.
Gracie came to our home a week ago, on July 10th. She just turned 8 weeks old on Friday. She likes to be in the kitchen with me, as long as there are toys close by. Just like all golden retriever puppies, she has plenty of licks and tail wags to give. And, she’s just the sweetest little canine under the sun.
There was not much cooking going on in my kitchen during the week. What I did make had to be quick and easy. I made chicken kabobs twice along with Rice and Orzo Summer Pilaf (recipe in my column this week).
Boneless and skinless chicken breasts can be marinating in the refrigerator all day long. I didn’t fuss with a fancy-schmancy marinade. Just olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic and onion and a shot of hot pepper sauce created the soaking liquid for the chicken. I like to coat vegetables for the kabobs with olive oil and minced garlic before pushing them onto the skewers.
Typically, I alternate colorful chunks of sweet bell peppers and chunks of onion to the skewers along with strips of chicken that go onto the metal skewer accordian style. This time I also added the white bulbous ends of chubby fresh green onions that I got at the farmers market and cloves of fresh garlic. The green onions were sweet and crisp-tender. The garlic became slightly soft and tasted caramely sweet, just like roasted garlic.
I wound up preparing the kabobs in stages each time Gracie snoozed. I cut the chicken breasts into strips and got them into a ziptop bag with the marinade early in the day. Her next nap allowed me to get the vegetables ready for the kabobs. They went into another bag and were stashed into the refrigerator. Next nap, I made the Rice and Orzo Summer Pilaf.
Besides being an absolutely delicious and healthful summer meal, any leftover chicken kabobs and summer pilaf reheat well for the next day’s lunch or dinner. So, all week long I was eating, reheating and eating chicken kabobs and pilaf. On the days I ran out of leftovers, I made popcorn for dinner.
We just picked up our order of meat from a quarter of an organic grass-fed cow. I guess I might be making beef kabobs this week.
It all depends on Gracie.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 chubby cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 3 lemon slices
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 3 bell peppers, colors of choice, cut into large chunks
- 1 or 2 purple or yellow onions, peeled, cut into large chunks
- Cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
- Chubby green onions, white ends only, cleaned
Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juce, 2 minced garlic cloves, onion and hot pepper sauce in a glass measuring cup. Cut chicken breasts in long strips 3/4-inch to 1-inch wide. Place in large zip-top bag. Pour olive oil mixture over the chicken. Add lemon slices. Seal the bag, making sure all chicken is coated with the marinade. Place the bag of chicken in a shallow dish and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours.
When it’s time to put skewers together, place prepared vegetables in a large bowl. Add 2 remaining cloves of minced garlic to remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix. Pour over prepared vegetables and toss.
Alternate chicken and vegetables on metal skewers. Grill over hot coals for about 15 minutes, turning kabobs every 5 minutes. Chicken should be cooked through and vegetables should be crisp-tender. Serve kabobs with Rice and Orzo Summer Pilaf.