Who doesn't love food on a stick? Corndogs, popsicles, sausages covered in sauce, countless street foods, and colorful chicken kabobs. I enjoy getting creative with kabobs because, as long as you can shove a stick through it, you can grill it. This time I was inspired by the fresh herbs from my garden (read more here) to make Italian Chicken Kabobs. And if you want to enjoy a kabob any time of the year, like when outdoor grilling just isn't realistic, I will tell you my secret for perfect oven-baked kabobs.
What you'll need:
4 kabob sticks
1 lb chicken breast
12 cherry tomatoes
1 large zucchini
4 crimini mushrooms
1/4 cup light-tasting olive oil and 1/8 cup for basting
2 fresh basil leaves or 1/2 tbsp dry basil
A few fresh oregano leaves or a few dashes of dry oregano
2 sprigs of thyme or a few dashes of dry thyme
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. If you're using fresh herbs, chop them up finely with scissors and combine with the olive oil in a small bowl. Set the mixture aside so the oil will absorb the flavor of the fresh cut herbs. If you're using dry herbs, mix them with the oil and set aside also.
3. Cut zucchini cross-ways into pieces about 1 inch thick, and cut the larger mushrooms in half so they are about the same size as the smaller mushrooms.
4. Rinse the chicken breast and cut it into 1 inch cubes (they don't have to be exact).
5. Being putting the ingredients on the kabob stick by pushing the pointed end through first. Start with one cherry tomato.
6. Follow this pattern for a well-proportioned kabob: 1 tomato - 1 chicken cube - 1 piece of zucchini - 1 chicken - 1 tomato - 1 zucchini - 2 chicken - 1 tomato. The tomatoes act as a good holder on the ends. Leave about 2 to 3 inches at the end of the stick for holding, depending of preference.
7. Lay the kabobs down and brush with the herb-oil mixture until all of the oil is used (1/4 cup).
8. (For Grills) Cook on a grill until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees F/ 74 degrees C. The cooking time depends on the type of grill and outdoor temperature. I use a propane grill and cook the food at high heat for about 10 minutes each side. Make sure to flip the kabobs halfway through cooking and baste with remaining olive. Top with salt and pepper.
8. (For Ovens) No need to preheat. Place the kabobs on a broiling pan on the center rack and turn the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, flip it, baste with the remaining olive oil, cook for 10 more minutes. After you've cooked the chicken for about 20 minutes, carefully move the rack to the highest level and broil the chicken on high for 2 to 3 minutes to give it a golden look. Top with salt and pepper.
TIP: If you need the kabobs for later in the day or the next day, you can prepare them, place them on a large plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place them in the fridge. This makes it easier for when you're ready to cook dinner, and it also gives the herbs more time to flavor the oil which in turn flavors the chicken and veggies.
Kabob sticks up to sun, friends, and delicious food!