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Grilling is truly a year round treat for those of us who live in temperate climates and also for those grill masters who fight the elements for the perfect burger, chicken kebabs, or any other grilled dish recipe. .
And when it comes to grilled recipes, these chicken skewers with olive pesto are something to put on the menu statistic. The savory and salty taste of olives is the perfect pesto for these chicken skewers or anything else you can throw on the grill!
Pesto, Tapenade or Gremolata?
I call this sauce Olive Pesto, but it's more like a hybrid of three classic sauces: pesto, gremolata, and tapenade. This recipe is all about great flavor. Each ingredient has its own punch, but it also plays very well with the other components.
The recipe begins with ripe California olives. Black or green olives can be used, but I chose a combination of both, both by color and by flavor. These are a staple of the pantry that I always have on hand.
California produces more than 95% of the olives grown in the United States. There are two family-owned canneries and 700 farmers. Farms come in all sizes, from small five-acre lots to thousands of acres. Many families have been growing ripe California olives for generations!
I prefer to finely chop all ingredients and mix them together rather than mix everything in a blender or food processor. This is because I like a bit of texture in this olive pesto. I don't want everything to be overly processed or pureed into a paste like I do with traditional pesto.
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The classic Gremolata ingredients are:
- Lemon juice
- Grated lemon
- Fresh herbs (especially parsley)
The classic ingredients of pesto are:
- Walnuts (especially pine nuts)
- Fresh herbs (especially basil)
Tapenade, on the other hand, is made with chopped olives and served as a dressing or as a spread for a cheese plate or snack.
The key to juicy chicken kabobs is to marinate the chicken long enough and also make sure the marinade is as tasty as possible. This means that the marinade contains a concentrated flavor, more than you could use if you come a vinaigrette.
The marinade will be a little more salty, more acidic, and should contain a little sweetness to complete the flavors. I add plenty of chopped fresh rosemary. Part of the marinade will be reused to brush the skewers just before they are grilled. (For food safety reasons, make sure that both chicken and vegetables are well cooked to the proper temperature to avoid foodborne illness.)
What are the best vegetables to grill?
Zucchini, sweet potatoes, potatoes, butternut squash, onions, and peppers hold up well. Onions, peppers, and mushrooms also work for a shorter cook time, therefore they are used more often when making chicken skewers with vegetables.
How do you grill kebabs?
The best way to cook skewers is to use a hot grill, but not too hot, for direct heat with one side set for indirect heat. The skewers are charred over high heat, then moved to indirect heat to finish cooking. This produces juicy and tasty chicken.
Chicken skewers can be done on the stove using a grill pan or in the oven using a high temperature (400 ° – 425 ° F), if desired.
Can you put wooden skewers in the oven?
Wooden skewers can go oven and broiled, but it is important to soak the skewers for a long time to prevent them from burning. The best way is to soak them overnight or the morning before they are used (always soak for at least 30 minutes).
Another good tip is to soak a bunch of skewers at the same time and freeze them in a zippered bag so they're always ready to use.
An easy recipe for grilled chicken skewers with delicious olive pesto. Fire up your grill on those hot summer nights or anytime you want a fresh, healthy food option. Ideal for backyard barbecues too! Cuisine: American Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Marinating time 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes Servings: 4 servings Calories: 537kcal
For the olive pesto:
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup ripe black California olives and / or ripe green California olives, drained and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 grated lemons and juices
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken skewers:
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon honey or sugar, optional
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless or thighless chicken breast, diced
- 1/2 large red onion, diced into 1 1/2 inch
- 2 medium 1 1/2 inch diced bell peppers
- 16 ounces mushrooms, white button or cremini, stemmed
To make the olive pesto:
- In a medium bowl, combine parsley, olives, pine nuts, oregano, basil, chives, garlic, lemon zest, and juice. Add olive oil until combined and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with chicken skewers or cover and refrigerate for up to a week.
To make the chicken skewers:
- Soak the bamboo skewers if you haven't already.
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, honey, or sugar (if used), salt, and pepper in a jar and shake until combined. Set aside.
- Place the diced chicken in a zippered plastic bag or large bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken and cover. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
To grill the skewers:
- Preheat the inside or outside grill for direct heat on one side and indirect heat on the other side. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade for brushing skewers before roasting. Pass the chicken, onion, pepper and mushrooms on bamboo or bamboo skewers previously soaked. Brush each skewer with reserved marinade, then discard.
- Grease the grills and place the skewers on the grill. Brown the skewers on each side over direct heat, then switch to indirect heat to finish cooking (generally 5 to 10 minutes per side). Turn skewers as needed to avoid burning. Chicken and vegetables should be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees when tested with an internal thermometer.
- Remove from grill and cover with foil until ready to eat. Brush with olive pesto before serving.
To bake the skewers:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleaning.
- Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade for brushing skewers before roasting. Pass the chicken, onion, pepper and mushrooms on bamboo or bamboo skewers previously soaked. Brush each skewer with reserved marinade, then discard.
- Bake kabobs 10-15 minutes per side. Chicken and vegetables should be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees when tested with an internal thermometer.
- Remove from oven and cover with foil until ready to eat. Brush with olive pesto before serving.
Israeli couscous salad (in photos above):
- 1 cup Israeli couscous, cooked according to package directions
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups tender spinach, chopped or tender arugula
- Combine everything except spinach or arugula. Cover and refrigerate.
- Just before serving, add spinach or arugula and serve cold or at room temperature.
Calories :: 537kcal