Grilled Chicken Kebabs

Published July 1, 1998.

Why this recipe works:

We discovered while developing our chicken kebabs recipe that marinating the chicken not only flavored the meat but helped it retain moisture—no surprise, perhaps. Olive oil–based marinades helped to infuse the meat with flavor without causing its texture to deteriorate. We knew that brining—… read more

We discovered while developing our chicken kebabs recipe that marinating the chicken not only flavored the meat but helped it retain moisture—no surprise, perhaps. Olive oil–based marinades helped to infuse the meat with flavor without causing its texture to deteriorate. We knew that brining—immersing food in a solution of salt and water before cooking—causes meats to retain moisture when cooked. But we worried that a true brine would make the small pieces of skinned chicken used for kebabs too salty. What did work in our chicken kebabs recipe was adding a teaspoon of salt to our oil marinade, along with herbs and spices for more flavor.

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Makes 8 Kebabs (4 Servings)

Although white breast meat can be used, we prefer the juicier, more flavorful dark thigh meat for these kebabs. Whichever you choose, do not mix white and dark meat on the same skewer, since they cook at slightly different rates. During testing we discovered that wooden skewers do not need to be soaked in water before grilling. Cut peeled eggplant and onions into half-inch cubes and zucchini into half-inch rounds; button mushrooms can be skewered whole, but portobello caps should be cut into half-inch chunks; seeded bell peppers work best as inch-wide wedges, while peeled shallots can be skewered whole; apples and pears should be cored and cut into one-inch cubes, peaches pitted and cut into six sections, and pineapples peeled, cored, and cut into one-inch cubes. For the best flavor, select one of the related marinades.

Ingredients

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