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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Toasted Sesame and Ginger Chicken Kabobs

Sure, this is a favorite standby for an easy and healthy meal; but who said shish kabobs have to be boring?  Kabobs are like a blank canvas to which you can basically add seasonings of any flavor profile to suit your palate.  Last night, we went with Asian influences for this meal.  Then, just plan your side dishes accordingly.

Click for Printable Recipe
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into cubes 
  • Veggies of your choice.  
    • I used: onions, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash
  • Fresh pineapple, cored and cut into large chunks
  • Black and white sesame seeds, toasted
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • Marinade 
    • 3 Tbsp apricot preserves
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
    • 1 tsp orange zest
    • juice of two oranges, divided
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

3 Tbsp apricot preserves

1 tsp sesame oil

One of the easiest ways to peel ginger is with the edge of a spoon.

1 Tbsp grated ginger.  I just grate it on a cheese grater.
Zest of one large orange.  About 1 tsp.

Juice from the orange.

2 Tbsp soy sauce.

Core and cut pineapple into large chunks.
About 1/4 cup pineapple juice.  I just used the juice from one of my daughter's fruit cups.

Mix the veggies and chicken together in the marinade.

Pop them into a zip top back and throw them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Find some helpers to assist in skewer assembly.
Some of these are really pretty and mixed.  Others have just mainly chicken.  It doesn't really matter.  Do it however your family enjoys them.
Season with salt and pepper if you'd like.

Add the left over marinade to a saucepan. Bring it to a FULL BOIL for at least a minute.  We want it to be safe to use as a basting sauce.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet.
They do not take long, so shake them around and watch them carefully.

If you like, add 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter to the sauce.  This gives it almost a Thai flavor.

Add the juice of the other orange.

Now this has become our basting sauce.
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As soon as skewers are cooked and the basting sauce is still sticky, sprinkle them with the toasted sesame seeds.

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Written Directions
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.  
  • Trim chicken of all fat and cut into nice large chunks. Cut up vegetables and set aside. 
  • Prepare marinade will all ingredients listed above, but using the juice of only one orange. 
  • Mix vegetables and marinade together in a gallon zip top bag for around 30 minutes.  I find this is the easiest way to do it. 
  • During this time, lightly toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet and set aside.  
  • Optional - Put the marinade back into a small pot and bring to a full boil for at least a minute.  
  • To the marinade, add the juice of the second orange and the peanut butter to make a basting and dipping sauce.  Set side.  
  • Assemble skewers as you wish and grill until vegetables and chicken and cooked, basting with the boiled marinade at the end.  
  • I actually find it easiest to prepare skewers of just veggies and some with only meat, to account for different cooking times.  
  • When skewers are doing, sprinkle the still sticky skewers with the toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.  I served these with steamed edamame and ginger honey noodles. Enjoy!

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