Skewering, Veggies & Timing
If you want to get fancy, skewer some garden veggies, paint with olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper, and grill them too. I like to keep the same veg separate on the skewer, and cut to the same size, so they all cook the same. So I do zucchini sticks, mushroom sticks, pepper sticks and so on, and as they get done I brush them with an oily marinade before and during grilling. I unskewer them into a serving pan to mix them. Onions I do in slices on the grill. Then, just before serving I set the pan on the grill to refresh them. Mixed veg on a stick look nice when you start, but not when you finish, as some get over or underdone. I never serve the skewers at the table, so it's no matter.
If I do chicken chunks on a skewer, I do dark meat on one, and white meat on another. The idea is to horizontally rearrange the chicken so that it all cooks uniformly. Marinades really do their best work on brochettes, and I paint them with the marinade as they broil. I really think this is the ideal way do do Teriyaki, even if it's not so authentic, although I remember little skewers of terriaki as an appetizer. I would just do my regular ones and cut the sticks in half before cooking.
Try to remember to soak the sticks in water overnight. I often forget, but even an hour helps. I wonder what it would taste like if I soaked them in wine. Gotta try that.
Small boneless chicken breasts, averaging 4-5 oz, take about 6 to 8 minutes on the grill, or about 4 minutes on a side for the larger ones, about 4 inches from the fire. Skewers may take a bit longer. Once again, I suggest that you cheat. Make a small cut on the underside of one piece, to check the center for doneness, and then serve yourself that piece. Then everyone will think you are a top notch chef, if you can keep your lip buttoned.
Once again, let me remind you that the most important thing is to have the right fire. Too hot a fire, the most common problem, will burn the outside, and push to to serve the chicken with the inside underdone. Take your time, and stay cool. If you see a lot of smoke, you are not doing it my way.
© 1997, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1997—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.