Kabobs may just be the perfect summer party food. They're easy to munch while holding a cocktail and mingling with friends, stress-free for the host to prep and serve, and they leave no dirty plates or utensils to clean up afterwards. Even better, you can please vegetarians and meat lovers alike without having to make two separate entrees.
The secret to a juicy, flavor-packed kabob is all in the marinade, which is prepped a day before, meaning less to do the day of a gathering. If you still haven’t found one that does the trick, don’t worry. This recipe from Andrea Correale, celebrity caterer and Founder of Elegant Affairs, is perfect for feeding a crowd in your own backyard or bringing along to a Memorial Day party this year.
“If you are using wood skewers make sure you soak them overnight first before putting the meat and veggies on them. Also make sure they are 12” skewers,” says Correale. “In order to get a good flavor, soak the meat and veggies for 24 hours before skewering."
She also suggests using chicken thigh meat instead of breast meat for the most tender kabobs, and recommends always cooking them at about 350 degrees or medium heat. (If using a thermometer, meat should be 165 degrees.)
While the kabobs themselves are packed with flavor, Correale likes to serve them up with a few different dipping sauces as well, which makes the spread even more fun by letting your guests customize their meal with an extra pop of flavor. Some of her favorite pairings include:
- Chipotle aioli
- Basil aioli
- Basil pesto
- Sundried tomato pesto
- Red pepper relish
- Lemon thyme vinaigrette
- Hoisin or an Asian style sauce
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And what about the rest of the spread? Correale serves her kabobs with grilled corn, corn salad or street corn, a potato salad or a farro or quinoa salad — or all three if you’re putting out a spread for a backyard party this season!
Now for the recipe. Simply toss all the ingredients together and add cubed chicken and/or veggies the night before, and you’ll be ready to thread on skewers and fire up the grill to feed your Memorial Day crowd.
Chicken Kabob Marinade
Yields 12 servings
- 1 cup oil
- 1 cup aged balsamic or sherry vinegar
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 16 pieces of de-boned chicken thighs
Combine all ingredients in a freezer bag or in Pyrex dishes. Cover the kabobs well and put in the fridge to marinate for 12-24 hours. The next day they will be ready to thread onto skewers and grill.
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