Sunday, June 19, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons... Make Lemonade

And when the County Sheriff imposes a fire ban... which includes outdoor grilling.... GRILL INDOORS!

Grilled Chicken Shish-ka-bobs with Peppers, Onions, & Jalapeno 
Upon my return from my trip to the grocery store last Wednesday, I carefully selected and trimmed up chicken breasts, tucked them in a gallon sized zip-close bag, added about 1/3 cup of Italian salad dressing, massaged it around, and popped it all in the freezer to grill later in the week.  I actually remembered to thaw the chicken in preparation for dinner tonight (it marinated while it defrosted) only to have my husband call me to announce, "No grilling for the time being... Sheriff has imposed a fire ban in our county!"  We are in a drought.  The smoke from wild fires in Colorado and Arizona has been filling our sky with smoke and the air quality is poor on and off depending on the direction of the wind.  We are seeing helicopters and airplanes fly overhead with contraptions for siphoning water out of bodies of water to carry to the fires.  The smoke in the air does make for some pretty sunsets... just so you know.  Our average annual rainfall in Southern Colorado is about 12 to 13 inches and is it so dry right now.  When the wind blows, dust clouds skim across the ground.  

Thankfully, grilling indoors is an option for me because I have the hugest EVER "George Foreman Grill" (AKA: The Lean Mean Grilling Machine).  Of course... this dish can be grilled outdoors.

Recipe for Grilled Chicken Shish-ka-bobs with Peppers, Onions, & Jalapenos:

4 small to medium sized chicken breasts, cut into EQUAL sized cubes (about 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes)
Italian salad dressing (I used Wishbone Brand)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into chunks similar in size to the chicken cubes
1 large yellow or red onion, cut into chunks similar in size to the chicken cubes
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and membranes removed (optional), cut into slightly smaller chunks
salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken into cubes which are equal in size so they will cook evenly.  Place in a zip close bag with about 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing (so that the cubes are coated); place in refrigerate to marinate for about 2 to 3 hours (a little more or less is fine... it's pretty flexible).  Note:  If the chicken marinates too long, the vinegar actually starts to sort of "cook"  the chicken and it becomes discolored (white). 

I assembled the shish-ka-bobs on bamboo skewers, alternating red bell pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper, and chicken cubes.  There's no right or wrong; just dive in.  After all of the ingredients were loaded onto the skewers, I drizzled on a bit more salad dressing.

I cooked four loaded skewers at a time on my pre-heated George Foreman Grill.  Of course, you can grill this in the great outdoors provided you do NOT have a fire ban.  I cooked the shish-ka-bobs for about 8 minutes total, turning once. I also moved the skewers around a bit since it appeared some were grilling faster than others due to hotter and cooler spots on the grill; the same is true for indoor and outdoor grills. Your cooking time will vary depending upon your cooking method.  My shish-ka-bobs were nicely charred but the veggies were still slightly crisp.  I removed a piece of chicken from one skewer to check for done-ness.   

We enjoyed the shish-ka-bobs over Cilantro-Lime Rice.  Here's the recipe:

Cilantro-Lime Basmati Rice

1 cup basmati rice
1 ¾ cups water
Pinch of salt
1/3 to ½ of a bunch of fresh cilantro, finely minced
Zest of 1 lime, finely grated (Microplane grater works well)

Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add rice; stir. Return to a boil, reduce to a simmer on stovetop’s lowest setting, cover with a lid, and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork; add the lime zest and cilantro and stir to combine.

Lunch for tomorrow... easy!

Happy Father's Day...
this was on the floor
in front of the TV
when I got home from work tonight... cute!

1 comment:

affectioknit said...

I love the sign on the floor! cute and sweet!