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Grilled chicken skewers simple to prepare

(July 7, 2016) With the whirlwind of moving comes the onslaught of discoveries – some good and some downright frightening. Despite the fact that we’ve only moved seven miles away, it is almost as though we are traversing continents, as we are moving into a house that has been empty for two years. Allow me to explain.
Two years – an admirable stretch in time in which animals can and have roamed free, growing at will. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we have found a secret portal to Australia. I’ve never seen bigger wolf spiders, and in fact the only larger spiders I’ve seen in person were the tarantulas in Southern California. Furry little bastards.
The snakes have moved on as we disturbed their home around the pool’s edge. The two largest snakes, an Eastern Racer and a King Snake, were easily six feet long. Luckily, most of us in the family like snakes (the same cannot be said about spiders), so we were a little sad once we realized that they would be taking up residence somewhere else. Alas, this is the price we pay in the name of progress.
As I noted the last time we met, the family has been eating terribly throughout this ordeal, but this week has marked the turning point. We are starting to cook more in an effort to get back on track. As my wife is back in Baltimore during the week, the kids and I have been brainstorming on dinner on occasion. During one of our bull sessions, the 11 year old had the most striking insight of all when he blurted “Mom said we’re going polio.”
“Out of the mouths of babes,” I pondered. I’m assuming that he merely heard “paleo” wrong, but these fanatics and their diets – it just makes me wonder if there was a strange, new variation of the tapeworm diet. Anyways, after ensuring the lad that we would indeed be avoiding polio and leaning more towards the latter, he seemed further at ease.
Cooking in the new kitchen is an absolute pleasure, as there is actually room to do so. Last night I cooked dinner in the outdoor kitchen, an area that needs a tremendous amount of work but I couldn’t resist firing up the grill on day one … you know… just to make sure that it worked.
Back in the main kitchen, carrying in the nice spread of food and having our four kids, momma, two dogs and three cats roaming around, I still had room to work. That was something that I haven’t experienced since my childhood home. I think it’s safe to say that we have a big-boy home now, and it feels great – it’s finally starting to sink in.
Since we had just unpacked the goodies from the old refrigerator, I earlier got to work and threw together some chicken skewers. These are incredibly easy to make and with a few quick turns on the grill, you will have a substantial meal that is good for lunch or dinner.
Of course, when I say “quick” I would rather you cook your chicken all of the way through. Very few people will tell you to cook your chicken under the mandatory 165F internal temperature, and if you find a chef who serves it even medium well, just leave. Walk away. Walk very far away.
I own a Japanese cookbook from the 70s in which they discuss chicken, a popular staple in this complex yet aesthetically pleasing cuisine. There is a recipe to boot, but to repeat, there is no situation in which anyone should be undercooking chicken these days.
And now I pass the torch on to you. Fire up that grill, marinate that chicken and let ‘er rip! I know at least my family will be salmonella-free, but now I have to work on that whole polio thing. Just what I need – another project.
Chicken Skewers
makes 6 skewers
2 Chicken Thighs, cut in 2-inch cubes
2 cups Marinade (recipe follows)
2 Bell peppers, cut into 2-inch squares
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
1 large yellow squash, chunked
Mushrooms, as needed
Grape tomatoes, as needed

Marinate the chicken for at least two hours
Soak your skewers overnight or at least for a few hours to saturate them. This way, they won’t burn too quickly as they sit on the grill
Skewer the ingredients, alternating them and leaving space as needed to allow everything to cook evenly. You want everything to be done in a uniform manner, so that you don’t have raw onions and overcooked chicken or, god forbid, raw chicken with overdone onions
Once everything is skewered, brush with more marinade and grill until you have nice grill marks. If you find that the product is charred or dark but you need to cook it more, simply place it in an oven to finish. 350-425F will suffice, depending on the oven
Serve the skewers with rice, fresh vegetables and/or roasted potatoes. But I would recommend that you hold the polio
Chicken Marinade
makes about 2 cups
1 cup Roasted garlic oil
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1 tsp. Cracked black pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Hot sauce, to taste
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients, adjusting to taste and for consistency
Refrigerate until needed