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Jerk-Style Chicken Kebabs

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Picture of Jerk-Style Chicken Kebabs
Kebab. Ka-bob. Shish Ka-bob. Kedap. Kabab. No matter what you call them, they are great, and
there is no better time than a nice, long weekend to make them happen.

There is nothing set in stone for making these delightful, colorful, Middle Eastern treats
that are often served on a stick. Clean out the refrigerator, and you'll likely have the ingredients
necessary for a fabulous batch of kebabs, which are quick and easy to prepare in no time.

Pork, beef, chicken, fish, seafood, vegetables, fruit, so many options, so little time!

Grab a few skewers and come with me, we're making Jerk-Style Chicken Kebabs!
 
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Step 1: The Recipe...

Picture of The Recipe...
Many compliments to my current favorite cookbook line - Cooking Light.
I can't say enough about every single recipe I've tried in any of their books.

This recipe is courtesy of Cooking Light's Annual Recipes Book from 2005.

1 teaspoon of grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 Tablespoons of finely diced jalapeno pepper
1 Tablespoon of ground allspice (just my opinion, 1/2 tablespoon would be fine)
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about one pound)
3 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(I used nothing but breasts, all is well)

Cooking spray
Parsley sprigs (optional, for decor)
Lime slices (optional, for decor)

Though the original recipe called for only making chicken Kebabs, I say we need other
ingredients. Let's go full-throttle and add fruits and veggies!

Fear not, no one is going to notice a miniscule dash of spice is missing.
I dread having to purchase a five dollar bottle of spice or herb I may only use once or twice
before it goes stale.

Step 2: Gather your ingredients and equipment...

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So you've hit the grocery store, cleaned out the pantry, and scanned the refrigerator.
We're ready to begin!

Though a blender is not absolutely necessary, it does come in handy.

These days, many people have a Ninja
(the electric appliance, not a covert agent dressed head to toe in the color black)
which is an essential in the kitchen.

Please note, you can also bake or broil your Kebabs!

Step 3: Pick up your sticks...

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If you don't have any bamboo skewers, don't worry. You can also simply lay all the
ingredients on the surface of an indoor grill such as a George Foreman. Bamboo
skewers can typically be found in the kitchen gadget aisle of your local box store.
They are very inexpensive, so there is really no need to try to wash and reuse them.
This is where the metal or stainless steel skewers come in handy - they are washable.

Wooden skewers or metal sticks are a wonderful item for kebabs, but not absolutely necessary.
Short sticks, long sticks, even no sticks. You could even chop up all of your ingredients, dump
it all into a wok and sizzle away.

Step 4: Measure the spices...

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To avoid all the hub-ub in the kitchen, as you have enough to do, measure
out the necessary spices ahead of time. Prepping the spices in advance
will also practically eliminate the need to ask yourself if you forgot anything.

Step 5: Pick your Kebab items, grate and juice the limes...

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There is an endless number of ingredients you may thread on your skewers.
Here are just a few ideas:

Shrimp
Chicken
Beef
Pork
Fish (a nice firm fish such as Tuna or Salmon)
Fresh Pineapple (you haven't lived until you've tried grilled pineapple)
Cherry tomatoes
Bell Peppers
Square chunks of jalapeno or other pepper
Pearl Onions
Sliced Onions
Mushrooms
Eggplant
Squash
Zucchini

Wash all of the vegetables, then slice and dice to your heart's content.
Zucchini, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, pearl onions, whatever you decide
is likely going to be just fine.

Return the items to the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the kebabs.

Give the limes a few hearty squeezes and roll them on a hard surface. You will be amazed how
much more juice you'll get. Grate the lime and be sure to save a teaspoon of it for the marinade. 
Juice the lime and save your juice. Remember, you'll need 1/4 cup of juice.

Step 6: A bit about bell peppers...

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You might never have noticed, but the next time you are in a produce section
of a grocery store, check out the bell peppers. Pick a few up and look at their
bottoms. Notice how some have three bumps, and some have four? Those
with four bumps cut up so much better, and give more flat surface for nice, square
cubes for your Kebabs. Just an observation. They all taste the same.

Cut the bell pepper in half, bend back the stem and seed pod all at once. Remove
most of the pith, and all of the seeds, Cut the ends off, and you will now have two
halves. Lie the halves on their backs and slide a knife under the ribs, removing them.
This will now give you a wide surface to cut cubes from. As for the ends you cut off, dice
them up, and toss them into the refrigerator for another meal.

Step 7: Prep the chicken...

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Always a sanitary girl, I use rubber gloves to prep chicken. It's a fussy thing.

Be sure to rinse the chicken in plenty of clean water, and always make certain
your work area is clean as well. Don't forget to clean well after cutting poultry
with plenty of hot water and a good cleaning product.

Dice up all of your chicken, cover and set aside, but not for long. Don't worry about
cutting up too much, as you can always use the extra for other dishes.

Step 8: Create the marinade, add the chicken...

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Combine all of the following ingredients together in a blender or Ninja.
Mix well.

1 teaspoon of grated lime rind
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 or 2 Tablespoons of finely diced jalapeno pepper

Add the items from the tiny bowls in step 4:

2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon of ground allspice
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Don't forget to add:

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

Pour the ingredients into a heavy zip-top plastic bag, or use a
large container with a lid.

Add the diced onions from step 5, and add the chicken (or other meat, if used).
Seal the bag and shake, or put the lid on the container and
mix well. Refrigerate immediately for one to two hours, turning
on occasion to mix the marinade.

Step 9: Assemble the kebabs...

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Once the marinade mix has set for one or two hours in the refrigerator, it is
time to thread the sticks.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Remove the
fruits and vegetables that were cut up and refrigerated earlier. It is time to assemble!

If you will be grilling your Kebabs on an indoor electric grill, hold one of the skewers
up to the grill to measure the amount of stick that can be threaded with ingredients
and still fit on the grill. It is okay if the skewer is sticking out of the grill, the skewers
are not big enough to keep the grill from closing.

Keep the chicken chunks separate from the rest of your ingredients while assembling
the kebabs. In other words, you don't want to use a sticky-chicken hand to reach into
a bowl of pineapple, as you may contaminate the fruit with chicken. Always practice
safe kitchen habits. You may wish to set a number of ingredients out on a plate or other
space so you don't have to touch and mingle the spare ingredients.


Step 10: Grill until completely cooked...

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Once your Kebabs are assembled, mist an electric grill with a bit of cooking spray
and allow the grill to heat up.

Place the kebabs, evenly spaced, on the grill. You may need to turn the Kebabs on
occasion if your grill does not offer a temperature control. Grill until your chicken is
browned, and fully cooked.

Remember, chicken must reach an internal temperature of 165-175 degrees
to be considered food safe and cooked properly. Don't fret if your cherry tomatoes
are looking limp, they will be tender and delicious.

Be sure to visit the Safe Minimum Cooking Temperature Chart

Step 11: Easy clean-up...

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If you are grilling on an indoor appliance that does not have removeable
grilling plates, I'm sure you've dreaded the clean-up.

Long ago, I realized that cleaning it while it was still hot was to my advantage.

Simply don a pair of rubber gloves, UNPLUG the machine, and park it near a sink.
Wet (sopping, dripping wet) a washcloth, then simply wipe the grates of the grilling
device, allowing the juices to ooze down the drain. Rinse the washcloth and continue
until clean. Squeeze out the excess water and then wipe the top grate in the lid.

As for any leftovers (ha!) they can be zapped in the microwave in a hurry. 
They make a fabulous meal!

Bon appetit!

sobeeya1 year ago
its amazing
roro201 year ago
Kabab meet