Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Kebabs--Summertime and the Grillin' is Easy

You've gotta love summer. Not only do you not have to set the alarm clock (unless you have basketball camp and scout camp and pioneer trek, but who's counting), but you don't even have to turn on the oven for dinner unless you want to. I don't know about you, but I never want to, so we almost always have dinner on the grill in the summertime.
While perusing the butcher's section of the grocery store the other day, I noticed that they have premade kebabs with both chicken and steak on them that you can just plop onto the grill and bam, dinner's done. However, they come pre-marinated in a sauce that has no ingredients listed, so I'm always suspect of sauces like that. Chances are they're safe, but I never want to take chances. So I decided to make my own. Turns out they are one of my new favorite summer foods.
I waltzed right over to the produce section and picked out the cast of characters: red onion, yellow and green zucchini, red pepper, and huge mushrooms. I usually use my old favorite standby, Kraft Tuscan House Dressing, when I reach for a marinade, but I perused the ingredient lists and thought I'd give the Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato version a try. I got a package of chicken and went home ready to try out my kebab making skills.
All you need to know about kebabs is this: make sure your veggie cuts are chunky enough that they don't fall off the kebab into the fire during grilling. I slid everything onto a skewer and poured about 1/3 of a bottle of the dressing over the meat and veggies while they were resting in a 9x13 pan to soak in the flavor of the marinade. I turned them a couple of times during the half hour I let them soak in the refrigerator.
Then I heated up the grill and put them on over medium high heat for about 4 minutes per side. I think I turned them three times to other sides of the kebabs and every time I turned them I basted them with a little bit of the leftover sauce in the 9x13 pan. The first two times I turned them I shut the lid on the grill but the last turn I left it open so I could check to see if they were done. You can take them off when the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, and the zucchini is to your desired tenderness. It took about 12 minutes to cook them.
And wowee! What a meal! Grilling the vegetables really brings out a mellow sweetness to them, especially the onion and peppers. I could not get enough of this meal. I've actually had a dream about it a night or two since I made them. Now I know what to do with all my extra veggies from the garden this summer!
Oh, and the other good thing about summer? You get to spend it with your best buddies, whether in the movie theater or out. Less time cooking, more time best buddying. Worth every second.
Happy eating!

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