If you've been reading my blog, then you probably know I cook a lot of chicken. I'm always looking for new recipes. I like to find different and interesting ways to prepare it, otherwise I get bored. So does the family. And who wants to hear (after working hard to prepare a meal), "Oh. This again."? That is a direct quote from my son.
Whenever I try something new, I can always tell when the family likes it. They don't say much (too busy eating). I mostly get a thumbs up from a kid with a mouthful of food. I'll take it. When they don't like it, they let me know it. In no uncertain terms. I've always taught them that honesty is the best policy and they can be brutally honest!
Here is the newest attempt at new and different chicken:
SWEET BBQ CHICKEN KABOBS
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (you can use breasts, but I like dark meat for this-it doesn't dry out as quickly as white meat)
1 small can pineapple chunks
1 red bell pepper
your favorite BBQ sauce
If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for about 15 minutes so they don't burn on the grill. Preheat your grill (I used my indoor cast iron grill pan) to medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray or brush with some canola oil. Cut each chicken thigh into 8 squares. Season with seasoned salt and set aside. Cut red bell pepper (you can use any color you like, but red is sweeter) into small squares (you won't need the whole pepper). Drain pineapple and reserve the juice (you'll need it later). Thread a piece of pineapple onto skewer. Then, a piece of chicken. Then a pepper. Then chicken. Then pineapple. That way you get the flavor of pineapple and pepper on each piece of chicken. Keep going until you have used 4 pieces of chicken, 3 pieces of pineapple and 2 peppers on each skewer. You should begin and end with pineapple. Once you've threaded all 8 skewers, place them onto the hot grill. Let cook about 5 minutes on first side, then flip and grill another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix reserved pineapple juice with some BBQ sauce (use about twice as much bbq sauce as pineapple juice). Whisk together. After the kabobs have cooked for 10 minutes, brush the sweet bbq sauce on and then flip them over and let cook one minute. Meanwhile, brush sauce on other side, then flip one last time. Let cook one minute, then remove from grill.
I served these on a bed of rice pilaf. You can use a box mix or my recipe (which is pretty easy and I always have these ingredients on hand)
1 TBS butter
1 TBS canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, sliced
2 TBS diced red bell pepper (use the extra from the kabobs)
1 cup long grain rice
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
In a saucepan (with a tight fitting lid), heat butter and oil on medium heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper. Saute for a few minutes. Add rice. Stir and toast up rice for a few minutes. Salt and pepper (a little more than you think-rice sucks it up). Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Then remove from heat. Remove lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
The great thing about this recipe is that it is just a base. You can change it up by adding different ingredients or seasonings. Make Polynesian rice by substituting 1/2 cup pineapple juice for 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Make Spanish rice by substituting 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Make it Mexican rice by using some taco seasoning. Just use your imagination and whatever's in your pantry!
I had a great lunch the next day by mixing the chicken, pineapple, peppers and rice together. It was like getting take-out, but free! (and delicious)
So, that's my newest way of making chicken. By the way, the family gave it a thumbs up.