We’re getting a last burst of summer here so we’re trying to squeeze out all the summer goodness that we can. That means happy hours on the patio, afternoons on the beach, and grilling whatever we can get our hands on. I’ve made a few recipes from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen, and this is one that we keep coming back to because it’s so good. It takes a bit of prep time, but it’s great for guests because it’s easy to cook and it’s a total crowd pleaser. These are based on her Huli Huli Chicken Skewers.
How fun are those skewers? Those were hand-delivered to us from Turkey from the hubbs family. If you’ve always used wooden skewers, I highly recommend getting some good metal skewers. They’re super durable, way easier to flip, and you don’t have to keep buying them.
You’ll need a pineapple and some pineapple juice for this recipe, and if your stores are like mine, you won’t be able to find a small amount of pineapple juice. And if you’re stuck with extra pineapple juice, you might as well try to make a drink out of it, right? We’re big tequila fans, so we ended up mixing some tequila, pineapple juice, and lime juice – which makes a fabulous drink! Turns out it’s called a Matador. The quick recipe is 1 1/2 ounces of tequila to 3 ounces of pineapple juice plus the juice of half a lime. Mix it all over ice and enjoy.
Alright, back to the recipe…
I’m still trying to invent something that will make the skewer creation process better, because it’s definitely my least favorite part of this process. And with this recipe you’re threading chicken, red onion, green onion, and pineapple. I’ve been using baking pans as my staging areas, because they seem to contain most of the mess, but you’re still going to make a bit of a mess. And you may get a little tired of skewering all the ingredients, but don’t skimp on any of them, because they’re all delicious together…just ignore the fact that you have to almost stab all of your fingers for about twenty minutes. (But seriously, if you have an idea, let me know..because I think we could be millionaires.)
- ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ⅓ cup 100% pure pineapple juice
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 8 medium garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1 (4-inch) fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium red onion cut into eighths
- 4 green onions cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ ripe pineapple cored and cut into squares about 1 inch by 1 inch
- fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine (for serving)
- Mix the first ten ingredients in a blender (or you can mix them up with a stick blender if you have one of those)
- Cut the chicken up into skewer-sized pieces, about 1 inch or so
- Place the chicken and marinade in a bowl and mix everything so the chicken is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for somewhere between 1 and 24 hours. (I've also made these with about ten minutes of marinating time, and that worked too..)
- Skewer the chicken, pineapple, green onion, and red onion onto skewers. Don't throw out the marinade!
- Heat a grill to medium (about 350F). Grill the skewers for five minutes, baste, flip the skewers, and cook for another five to ten minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chickens and the veggie bits. If you're feeling basty, you can baste the skewers again when they're halfway through cooking on the second time.
- Boil the leftover marinade in a pan for five minutes until it thickens up a bit. Serve the marinade on the skewers with a bit of cilantro.
In the book, she serves them with a sriracha mayo, which is a nice addition to the marinade sauce. It’s a quick sauce to make if you want to try it out – just three parts mayo to one part sriracha.