FOOD & DRINK — The end result of perfectly cooked chicken is a mouthwatering meal that smells just as good as it tastes and beckons loved ones to the patio. To achieve that juicy, tender flavor that brings family and friends together, it’s important to keep a few safety and grilling tips in mind.
Maximize Your Budget
For a flavorful meal without breaking the bank, consider less-expensive cuts of meat like bone-in thighs or drumsticks, or cook a whole chicken that can last for several meals. In addition to the savings at the grocery store, these cuts can also withstand hotter temperatures on the grill for juicy and tender results.
Add Favorite Seasonings
Because seasonings can sometimes come off on the grill, try seasoning both before and after grilling for a better-tasting final result. If you’re planning to marinate, be careful to avoid over-marinating as acid-based marinades can start breaking down meat fibers. Remember before and while seasoning raw meat to keep proper safety practices in mind. Wash your hands, cutting boards, knives, scissors, the sink and all work surfaces for 20 seconds with hot, soapy water, and don’t allow raw meat or its juices to touch other foods.
Trust the Thermometer
Once your grill reaches the desired heat, put chicken on the grates with confidence by trusting a meat thermometer to measure doneness. This easy Kona Pineapple Chicken Kebabs recipe, for example, calls for 10-12 minutes on the grill, but it’s important to check for an internal temperature of 165 F rather than simply relying on recommended cook times. Be sure to serve using a clean platter and utensils, never ones touched by raw meat. Refrigerate any leftover chicken immediately and use within 3-5 days.
Kona Pineapple Chicken Kebabs
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 can (6 ounces) pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lime, zest and juice only
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 package diced chicken breast
- 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into 16 chunks
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 16 (1-inch) chunks
- 4 metal skewers or 8 wooden skewers (12 inches) soaked in water 30 minutes
Add diced chicken breast, cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
Thread alternating pieces of chicken, pineapple and red bell pepper onto skewers.
Discard remaining marinade.
Heat lightly greased grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
Grill kebabs 10-12 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes until chicken feels firm to touch and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 165 F.
Remove kebabs from grill, rest 2-3 minutes and serve.
Tip: If using wooden skewers, soak in water 30 minutes to keep skewers from burning on grill. If using metal skewers, remember chicken will cook faster because metal will conduct heat and cook chicken cubes from inside along with grill heat cooking chicken from outside.