Saturday, August 17, 2013

Instant Chicken Kebabs

I really like grilled chicken kebabs, where chicken breasts have been cut into chunks, marinated in Italian dressing, then grilled.  The grilling takes only eight minutes, but the preparation is long and messy, so I didn't do this very often.  Another problem is that a modern chicken breast is larger than one serving.  It was that problem that brought me to this "instant" solution.

Buy chicken.  I generally get skinless chicken breasts.  Trim the fat from all of them and cut them into cubes.  You'll get about 1-1/2 pounds of chicken cubes.  Plop the cubes into freezer bags, one serving per bag.  You'll get five servings of just under five ounces, or four six ounce servings.  Squirt a generous amount of Italian dressing into each bag and mostly close the seal.  Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal completely.  Moosh the chicken and marinade around until the chicken is completely coated and refrigerate for a couple of days.  This whole prep operation will take less than 15 minutes.  It's the marinating that makes things "long."

When the chicken is thoroughly marinated, move the bags to the freezer.  The marinating action will stop, and the chicken will keep for several weeks.

When you want grilled chicken kebabs, take out as many servings as you need and thaw them in warm water, right in the bag.  Empty the bags into a shallow bowl, one at a time, and put the chicken cubes on  skewers, one serving each.  You can put veggies on the skewers, too... onions, peppers, mushrooms, or whatever you have handy, cut into small enough pieces to cook in eight minutes. Save the marinade in the bowl to pour over the chicken as it grills.

Grill the chicken for about eight minutes in four two-minute turns.  Pour about half of the the marinade over the chicken after the first turn and the rest after the second turn.  (The marinade contains raw chicken juice, so only use it during the first half of the cooking time.)

If you've prepped and frozen the chicken in advance, you can have grilled chicken kebabs within half an hour of deciding that's what you want for dinner, and with very little mess.

A Rant About Weight

The last package of chicken breasts I bought was stamped 1.86 pounds.  That's 29.76 ounces.  I got 23.6 ounces of chicken cubes out of that, and paid chicken prices for six ounces of water.  I won't name the chain where I bought this because I think it happens everywhere, but know that, unless you buy chicken from a real meat market, 20% of what you're paying for is water!

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