Labor Day is just around the corner. Celebrate the unofficial end of summer cookouts, and long summer days with these delicious kebabs. I was in a tropical mood when I came up with this recipe. It was summer, on a day that called for BBQ. My great friend, chef Regina Tejada, had brought me a few pineapples, so I was inspired. The rest of the pineapples were used to prepare –you guessed it – frothy piña coladas!
Yields 8 to 10 kebabs
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat removed, cut into 1½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground thyme
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 thick slices fresh pineapple, cut in chunks *
2 Spanish onions, cut in large chunks
3 red peppers, seeds and veins removed, cut in large chunks
10-12 cherry tomatoes
*If using canned pineapple packed in its own juice, drain, before using
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and thin stems only, finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, leaves and thin stems only, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely cut
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed, small dice (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Special Equipment: 12-inch wooden skewers soaked in water at least 30 minutes to prevent charring.
- In a glass bowl, mix chicken seasoning and vegetable oil. Mix well. Add chicken and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap at let rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Thread red peppers, pineapple, seasoned chicken cubes and onions, in previously soaked skewers.
- When ready to cook, grease grill lightly with canola oil** and turn to medium-high heat. Grill the kebabs 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve with salsa verde.
- To make the salsa verde, in a mortar and pestle, add garlic and a pinch of salt and grind to a paste. In a bowl, mix parsley, cilantro, jalapeno, and crushed garlic. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and work into the mixture. Season to taste. If using within a few hours, let sit at room temperature. Otherwise, refrigerate and bring to room temperature before using.
To clean your grill once it cools:
Apply high-heat cooking oil (Canola, olive, peanut) when the grates are cold. Cover the grates with the oil and remove the excess with a paper towel. Light your grill, and let it burn until the oil on the grates starts smoking or burns off.