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Every August, when Ontario peaches hit our markets, we tend to get a little crazy for stone fruit.
There's always a large bowl of ripening peaches on our dining room table alongside a stack of cloth napkins for a gooey afternoon snack. We cut the peaches into our morning oatmeal and freeze them for the afternoon lemonade. I combine them with fresh tomatoes and soft cheese to add a touch to a Caprese salad and I stew them with brown sugar and spices in a sticky barbecue sauce.
And this summer, we are stringing peaches with chicken and roasting them to perfection. It's a quick and fun dinner that pairs perfectly with my Greek watermelon salad. There's still time for plenty of patio meals before fall comes, so keep reading the recipe and start planning your next cookout.
Fresh herbs from the garden, lots of lemon and grilled charcoal contribute to these succulent chicken skewers. I have been making a variation of this dish for years, but this summer I finally measured the ingredients and formulated a proper recipe.
In today's version, I've tucked thick slices of peaches between the chicken cubes, but I also love using thin lemon slices, zucchini rounds, or sweet peppers. In short, use what you have, and if peaches are what you have, it's best if they're on the firm side.
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Here is my secret: I like to use a combination of fresh and dried herbs for a strong marinade. Then I divide the marinade: half for the marinade overnight and the other half to drizzle while the chicken is grilled. Chicken breasts need flavor infusion and this method works best.
Every time I light the coals on the kettle grill, I tend to storm the garden and comb through the fridge to round off anything that can be broiled. A few more peaches, young onions, tomatoes, figs, new zucchini …
Even a Brie wheel gets a few grill marks: it's the perfect way to get the cold out of the fridge; Serve it with crackers and some grilled figs for an easy snack during the afternoon spritz.
To get juicy kebabs to the max, give them a short break before serving. This will give you time to mix the salad and round the drinks.
Dress the kebabs in a bed of fresh herbs and squeeze some grilled lemon on top. Serve with a side of strong tzatziki or even a tablespoon of thick Greek yogurt. Perfection.
It's this effortless type of cooking that I love about summer. Two ingredients, chicken and peaches, along with a simple marinade, transformed on a grill into a beautiful dish worthy of your weekend table.
Greek-style grilled chicken and peach skewers
A simple summer dinner that can feed a crowd and prepare ahead of time.
Course: main dishes
Essential Ingredient: Chicken
Preparation time: 20 minutes.
Cook time: 12 minutes.
Total time: 32 minutes
Servings: 6 people
- 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mediterranean herbs or Provence herbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 semi-firm peaches
- 1 whole lemon cut in half
In a small bowl or jar, mix together lemon juice, minced garlic, dried herbs, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil. This is your strong marinade.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-1 / 2 inch cubes. Place it in a large zip-lock plastic bag and pour HALF of the marinade. Reserve the rest of the marinade. Seal the bag and rotate it several times until the chicken is covered. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and overnight.
Preheat grill to 400F. Have a sprout spray bottle and sturdy tweezers on hand.
Cut the peaches in half and then the quarters. Pass the marinated chicken on metal skewers, alternating with the peaches. Don't cram. I like to use 2-3 pieces of chicken per skewer; You will need about 12 skewers.
Grill the kebabs on direct heat for 4-5 minutes until they have grill marks, then flip and grill on the other side. Combat the shoots with a jet of water. Next to the chicken, roast the lemon, cut side down.
Take out that reserved marinade. Move the skewers to indirect heat to continue cooking, about 5-7 minutes more. Sprinkle frequently with marinade, brushing with both chicken and peaches, and turning kebabs once or twice. Cooking time will vary from grill to grill.
Remove the chicken and lemon; stack in a font. Rest for 10 minutes, tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Stack the skewers on a bed of fresh herbs and squeeze the grilled lemon on top. Serve with a generous side of tzatziki sauce.