Let’s get shakin’
It’s Spring y’all and it’s time to clean up that grill, and maybe even look at an upgrade.
Spring and Summer grilling in the South is about as southern and natural as a glass of good, sweet tea. I can remember as a kid when southern Winter jumped into Spring. We all know down here it’s usually a jump, one day it’s cold and then it’s not and you realize that cold day was the last one. It’s ‘bout to be HOT.
Time changes and it gets dark later. I remember momma opening the windows and cutting on the attic fan, I remember the tea would brew in the sun on the back porch. Of all those memories what I remember the most was daddy grilling. He would grill on and off all year, I’ve seen him do it in the rain, and even a time or two with it sleeting but once Spring and Summer hit it was 2-3 nights a week and always on the weekend. To him, grilling was an art form and he (like most men) thought he was the Picasso of the flame. But that’s okay, let it be his domain, when everyone got to enjoy the food no one cared that he might have been a little territorial about it.
I love to grill and like my love of all things food, I got it from him. I will admit I will never feel like I’m as good at it as he was, or maybe that’s just me wishing he had gotten to be here a little longer to teach me more OR judge my efforts. Nonetheless, male or female, if you enjoy it and everyone enjoys the outcome of your efforts then you ARE the pit master of your home. Now let’s talk Shish Kabobs. Surprisingly they aren’t southern at all, even though they have been cooked a time or two on every grill in the south they are actually Mediterranean. So, for this next healthy recipe let’s take them back to their roots and cook them as only a southerner can. Best of both worlds If I do say so myself.
Mediterranean Chicken kabobs
• 3-pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into large bite-sized pieces)
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 lemon juiced
• 8 garlic cloves minced
• 2 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 large red onions cut into thick slices
• 4 bell peppers cut into squares
• Vegetable oil for greasing the grill
• Chopped parsley for serving
In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the mixture and mix well to combine. Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grease the grill with vegetable oil.
When ready to grill, thread the chicken onto the skewers, with the vegetables in between the chicken kabobs. Pour any leftover marinade on top of the chicken kabobs. Makes 6-9 skewers.
Grill the chicken kabobs until fully cooked and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes, turning the skewers every couple minutes to allow for even cooking.
Remove the chicken from the grill and serve with Lebanese rice, jasmine rice, tabbouleh or add something with a southern flair to make it your own.
Until next week I’m Chef Hunter Lee
Remember, “treat your kitchen, treat yourself”
Benwood’s, uniquely southern, surely the best!