Friday, July 31, 2015

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kebabs

I rarely wing it with a new recipe when I am cooking for anyone other than the immediate family, but I broke the rules and tried this one over the 4th of July weekend.  I think it turned out pretty well!  I was inspired by the coconut bacon, yes, coconut bacon, from Ney's Big Sky that we had picked up from the farmer's market.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kebabs with Veggies & Pineapple

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
1-2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 peeled & cored pineapple, cut into large chunks
1 lb. bacon (coconut or otherwise), uncooked

Cut the chicken into kebab-sized pieces - try to make them close to the same size so everything cooks evenly.  Cut the bacon slices in 1/2 or 1/3, and wrap one piece of bacon around each piece of chicken.  Thread the wrapped chicken pieces onto the skewers to secure the bacon (I used metal - if you use wood, make sure you soak the skewers first so they don't burn on the grill).  The bacon wrapping is optional, but we only live once, so yeah... It's a little labor intensive, so you could recruit a friend or two, or do some a few hours before the meal, and then store them covered in the fridge.

Cut up and "kebab" the veggies - red onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, zucchini, or whatever you like.  I also skewered some pineapple - I thought it would go good with the peppers and coconut bacon.  You can also do these in advance.

Glaze:

1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. paprika (sweet or smoked - I used sweet)
1 clove garlic, minced

Over medium heat, combine the ingredients and stir until combined and slightly thickened.  Remove from heat.

While I was preheating the grill, I whipped up the glaze to brush on the chicken.  I put all of the kebabs on the grill, and camped out to make sure there were no flare-ups with the bacon drippings.  When grilling the veggies, watch them carefully, and move them to higher ground if they start to get too charred before the chicken is done cooking.  We prefer ours with a little crunch, so I moved them to the warming rack earlier than later.

When the chicken was almost done,  I brushed the kebabs with the glaze, and then left them on just for a little bit longer.  I had doubled - or maybe even tripled the amount of chicken since we were feeding a crowd, and this amount of glaze was just enough.  You could halve it, or just make it and be generous with the basting.

To serve, I took everything off the skewers and put on platters, and people helped themselves.  I had a side of quinoa & rice blend to serve with the meat and veggies.  The kids weren't wowwed by the coconut bacon, so I had also grilled some plain chicken breasts for those who preferred them.   It worked, and it was something different!