Everyday recipes, life and craziness from Jen's house.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Easy Grilled Chicken and Grilled Veggies

My inlaws left this afternoon after spending a few days with us.  They live about 260 miles away...close enough to visit, but far enough so they don't drop in unexpectedly!  It was great to see them and we had a wonderful time.  We traveled to the zoo in Salina yesterday and did some shopping.  My father-in-law, Leonard, did a few things around the house since Jeff is deployed, which I was very grateful for!  We played cards, did some geocaching, talked a lot and ate some pretty darned good food (of course, I'm biased a little bit!) 

Before they left this afternoon, I made a big dinner/lunch (another post for another day.)  It was terrific, but again, I'm a little biased!  The meal was different from my planned menu since we went out to eat last night and had a picnic lunch at the zoo.

Easy Grilled Chicken
Boneless/Skinless chicken breasts
Ken's Steak House Lite Northern Italian with Basil & Romano salad dressing
Gallon Ziploc-type Bag

Place the s/b chicken breasts in a Ziploc type gallon bag.  For every 3 chicken breasts, add 1/3 of the bottle of Ken's salad dressing.  So 3 chicken breasts = 1/3 of the bottle, 6 chicken breasts = 2/3 of the bottle, 9 chicken breasts = 1 bottle (you will need to use another bag if you're using 9 chicken breasts...it would be a little crowded in 1 bag with the dressing!)

Zip the bag and stick in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or up to 2 days.

Place the chicken on a med/hot grill.  Discard the salad dressing/chicken juice.  Grill 4-5 minutes and turn.  Continue grilling until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through....15-25 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill.

Review:  I've used a lot of different Italian salad dressings over the years and have found that I like Ken's Steak House Lite Northern Italian with Basil & Romano the best for marinating chicken.  It makes the chicken moist, and doesn't have a strong vinegary flavor.  Enjoy~

Grilled Veggies
1-2 medium zucchini squash
1 medium yellow squash
2 medium onions
1 medium green pepper
1 medium red pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
8 ounces whole mushrooms
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Italian seasoning (Penzeys makes a good one, as does McCormick)
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Gallon Ziploc-type bag
Bamboo skewers

Slice the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise.  Chop into 1-inch chunks.  Seed and cut the peppers into large chunks (2 inch x 2 inch or so chunks.)   Put the spices, oil and vinegar into the Ziploc-type bag.  Add the chopped zucchini, yellow squash and pepper chunks.  Seal the bag and squish around so that all pieces are coated with the spice mixture.  Shake it up, baby!  Twist and shout!    (Click on the link!  My mum sings this song every time something needs to be shaken....and so do I!)Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or up to 2 days.

When you're ready to cook the veggies, slice the onions in half, then with each half, lay the sliced part on your cutting board and cut at 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock and 2 o'clock (you'll get 4 chunks of onion per half.)    Take the marinated veggies out of the refrigerator.  Thread the marinated veggies, mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes onto wooden skewers.  You can put them in any order, but I like the zucchini or yellow squash on the ends...they don't shrink as much while cooking and fall off less than peppers, tomatoes, onions or mushrooms.  (You may want to soak the skewers in water before doing this step.  I never remember to do it, and the ends get a little charred, but that's OK.  If you don't want the ends of the skewers charred, soak them in water for 20 minutes.  It's up to you...)

Place on a med/hot grill.  Grill 4-5 minutes and turn.  Grill 4-5 minutes more.  It may take you more or less time depending on the temperature of your grill.  I like my veggies a little crisp with a little char on them them.  (Cook according to your tastes...not mine!)

Review:  I LOVE these veggies!  I've experimented with more/less oil, vinegar, spices and ready made Italian salad dressings, and this is what I've come up with.  The veggies are moist, flavorful, without being too vinegary.  I don't like to marinate the mushrooms (they get soggy), the onions (they fall apart) or the tomatoes (they get squished.)  However, feel free to change a few things to make it fit your tastes!  Enjoy~

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