Make It Tonight: Chicken & Pork Kabobs

August 24, 2021

Ready to bring your summer dinner party offerings to a new level? It’s time for kabob night! This flavourful meal is versatile, easy to prepare, and loaded with flavour. You’ll have the family begging you to serve them this dish, and they’ll be able to help you make it.  

What is a Kabob?
Kabobs are believed to have originated in Turkey, when soldiers hunted game, and placed chunks of meat on their swords, and cooked them over an open fire.

Kabob, or kebab, is a style of food preparation that exists all over the world. It’s the concept of cooking meat (usually) on a skewer. It can be cooked on a grill, placed in the oven, or even fried in a pan. “Shish” is a Turkish word meaning “skewer,” so a shish kabob is a skewer of meat. 

Types of Kabobs
Traditionally, kabobs were made with lamb meat, and any vegetables would be separately prepared on a different skewer. North American-style kabobs tend to intersperse meat with vegetables, usually onion, bell pepper, and tomato. The meat also is often marinated for tenderness.

Beef, along with chicken, is the most common North American version of the kabob. Pork  or chicken kabobs are prepared similarly, ensuring to trim excess fat from the meat. 

Veggie Kabobs are easy to make and provide a healthy option for those with dietary restrictions and those who choose not to eat meat. Some great vegetables for grilling with kabobs are tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and mushroom. You can change things up by using pineapple, shallots, or zucchini.

Preparing Kabobs
Preparing kabobs at home requires some time and effort, so if you’re strapped for time, let Calgary Co-op do the work and pick up our pre-made kabobs in the Meat Department. If you want to try it, here’s what to know: 

Cut the meat into cubes large enough to skewer but small enough to cook quickly, about 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) by 2.5cm by 2.5cm. 

The next step is to prepare a marinade, usually olive oil, soy, and lemon juice or vinegar, along with spices to your preference. If you need inspiration, our Grilled Kabobs withDijon-Rosemary Sauce is a surefire hit.  The meat is then placed in a sealable kitchen bag and left in the refrigerator for three hours to overnight.

If you’re using wood skewers, check them for wood splinters, and be sure to soak them in water for 15 minutes to a half-hour. If you’re using metal skewers, you’ll want to stick with stainless-steel, to avoid issues with rust.

For vegetables, cut into similar-sized chunks as the meat to ensure even cooking. If you’re using veggies that cook quickly or take a longer time on the grill, consider placing these on separate skewers to ensure they cook properly. 

Brush the veggies with a light coat of olive oil, and add seasoning. Oiling both flavours the veggies and stops them from sticking to the grill.

Be sure to leave a small space between the items on the skewer. It seems like you should jam everything as closely as possible, but consider that providing more airflow will help your food cook more evenly. 

Heat your grill to 200°C (400°F), oil lightly, and place on the skewers. They should take about eight to ten minutes, turning once about halfway. Check the skewers as you go, and if things seem too hot, move them to a cooler part of the grill. 

You’re looking for an internal temp of 63°C (145°F) for beef, lamb, or pork. Chicken may take 10 to 15 minutes, and you’ll need an internal temp of 74°C (165°F). The meat will continue to cook after removing from the grill, so ensure you don’t leave the kabobs on too long.

mit wk greek kabobs week43Greek Chicken Kebabs 

Ingredients:
4-6 Chicken Breast Kabobs with Vegetables
1 lemon juiced and zested
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp oregano
½ tsp salt 
½ tsp black pepper 
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Cal & Gary’s Dijon Mustard
¼ cup Founders & Farmers Olive Oil

For garnish:
¼ cup fresh dill
1 lemon cut in half

How To Make It:
Preheat grill to medium high heat. 

In a bowl mix together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic, Dijon and salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Pour half the mixture over kebabs and use the other half for basting the meat while cooking. Cook kebabs until 165°F and nice and charred. Cook lemon on grill until nice and caramelized. Garnish kebabs with dill and serve along side caramelized lemon.

How to Serve
The beauty of the kabob is that you’ve made grilled meat and vegetables, which will give a wide variety of serving options. Popular favourites are to serve them on a bed of rice or a salad. We’ve also got a tangy-sweet option with these Soy-Honey-Garlic Glazed Kabobs or use summer’s best fruit flavours with these Grilled Beef & Fruit Kabobs with Balsamic Reduction. 

Kebab cubes will be a great size for serving in a wrap or on a pocketless pita, particularly as a leftover for lunch the next day. Lightly coat the pita with oil, fry it until it turns golden brown, and serve with your kebab meat and veggies and some lettuce.

Kabobs make for a delicious meal that is fun and easy to prepare.  They make for a perfect dinner party offering, as most of the work will be done in advance of cooking, allowing you more time to socialize with your guests. It’s also an excellent meal for the family, as everyone can help out in preparing the skewers and choosing their own veggies. 

Why not Make It Tonight and look for inspiration at your local Calgary Co-op store?

Three Make It Tonight recipes for Chicken & Pork Kabobs

Fast MIT

Sweet Chili Glazed Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Fancy MIT

Curried Pork and Orange Kebobs

Family MIT

Greek Chicken Kebobs 

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