How to Grill Chicken Kabobs
Skewer some chicken, vegetables, and even fruit for a light and tasty meal. Here’s how to make the perfect chicken kabobs in just seven steps.
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Bamboo skewers are cheap and readily available. But because they are made of thin pieces of bamboo, they are flammable and will catch fire during grilling. To prevent this, soak your skewers in water for at least one hour prior to assembling your kabobs.
Whether using white chicken breast meat or dark meat from the thigh, it’s important to not cut the chicken into chunks that are too small, or else they will dry out quickly on the grill. Larger chunks of 1 to 1½ inches are ideal. Add them to a dish and pour on your favorite marinade. A marinade with a high oil content will not only flavor the chicken, it will also help keep the chicken from drying out on the grill. Then cut your vegetables into chunks that match the size of your chicken chunks, 1 to 1½ inches. You can go with classic vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, or add fruit like pineapple or peaches. If you want to marinate the vegetables, do so in a separate container from the chicken.
Start threading the chicken chunks and vegetables on the kabobs. It’s important not to pack the skewers too tight or too loose. If the chicken and vegetables are too snug, the skewer will take too long to cook. If too loose, the chicken and vegetables may overcook. Ideally, the chicken and vegetables will touch each other but not be too crowded.
Light your coals and configure your grill for a two-zone fire. Pile all the lit coals onto one side of the grill, and keep the other side empty. This way you can sear the skewers over high heat, and move to the cooler side in case of a flare-up.
Place a few of your chicken kabobs directly over the coals. Let the chicken and vegetables sear and get some color. Rotate the skewers to brown all of the sides. You’ll find this requires some attention and time, so don’t try to cook too many at once—work in batches. If the fire flares up or the skewers catch fire, move them to the cool side of the grill.
When the chicken and vegetables have browned on all sides, move to the cooler side to finish cooking through. It will take about eight minutes total if you’re using white meat, about nine minutes if using dark meat. Chicken is done at 165°F. A good instant-read digital thermometer will make it easier to check for doneness.
Your chicken kabobs are ready to serve hot off the grill, no need to rest before serving. They pair nicely with just about anything.
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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