I think I’ve mentioned before that although I’ve always loved to play around in the kitchen, I didn’t really start exploring my inner foodie until I moved to an apartment my sophomore year of college and had my own (well, shared with 3 other girls, but not my parents) kitchen for the first time. This is literally one of the first dishes I made on a regular basis that wasn’t 100% from a cookbook. And I mean, it’s really not rocket science, but believe me, marinating and grilling vegetables was a long, long way from Some-Kind-of-Browned-Meat-in-Cream-of Something-Soup-Over-Some-Kind-of-Starch-ville where I grew up.

I had completely forgotten about this recipe and then I reconnected with one of my former roommates on Facebook and I remembered that this was one of her favorite things to eat. I feel like I really have come so far in the years since we lived together that it may not be “my thing” anymore, so I decided to try making it again. After pulling these off the grill, I was genuinely surprised that not only was it “my thing,” but it was ultimately “my thing”–fresh and flavorful, a slight twist on something a little more classic. It really kind of…I don’t know…gave me more faith in myself that my initial foodie instincts were so true to who I am now.
You can mix this up a little–use steak instead of chicken or throw in some eggplant and nix the onions if you want. I normally also use green zucchini, but every grocery store in my area was out the day I went shopping, so I doubled up on the yellow zucchini. Also, I am totally and completely in love with mushrooms anyway, and I’ll tell y’all…after they’ve marinated and then been grilled, they are positively divine. But I also (very sadly) get that mushrooms aren’t everyone’s thing. I really, really, REALLY encourage you to keep them, but I definitely don’t want to trigger any gag reflexes out there, so leave them out if you absolutely must.
Grilled Chicken and Veggie Skewers
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
1 each yellow and green zucchini squash, cut in half (if large) and sliced
8 oz. small whole mushrooms, stems removed
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (or combo of 2 or more), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 small red onion, carefully cut into bite-sized chunks (try to keep as much of the pieces in tact as possible, but don’t stress it if they start to fall apart)
Sweet cherry tomatoes
1 recipe of Zesty Italian Dressing (below) or 1 bottle of Berenstein’s Italian Dressing
Prepare Zesty Italian Dressing:
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (this really doesn’t add much heat; it’s better with it!)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 c. canola oil
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese (either fresh or from a can)
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (add more if needed)
In a blender, combine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, salt, seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Blend. While blender is running, slowly add oil in a steady stream. Turn off blender and add Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Pulse blender 2-3 times to combine herbs and cheese. Remove 1/2 c. of dressing for basting during grilling and set aside.
Place cut-up chicken in a shallow dish and pour a little less than half of the remaining dressing over the chicken. Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until ready to use.
Place chopped veggies in a dish (a 9×13 pan works great) and pour remaining dressing (except for reserved 1/2 c.) over the veggies. Toss gently to combine. Set aside.
If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for about 30 minutes.
When chicken is done marinating, skewer veggies and chicken (you’ll have far more veggies than chicken, so keep that in mind when assembling your skewers; I use about 3 pieces of chicken per skewer, but as many vegetables as I can get on there).

Preheat grill and then cook skewers for about 10-12 minutes over medium heat until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender-crisp, turning at least once.

They will smell fantastic–the smell and flavor, strangely, is actually very reminiscent of Churrasco restaurants like Tucano’s or Rodizio grill. Pop off one of those GLORIOUS mushrooms as soon as they’re cool enough to handle and serve with some cubed watermelon and Brazilian Lemonade for a fabulous summer feast!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *