Grilling in February! Houston's Honey Teriyaki Kabobs!

Nebraska has four distinct seasons.  As a runner I find it diversifies my outdoor training and it also diversifies my closet.  Any excuse to go shopping for shoes and fall is boot season my favorite!  I digress.  Where Spring is mild and fragrant, Summers are hot and humid, runs generally end with tight lungs and soaked gear.  Fall is gorgeous... trees are changing colors, a light layer is comfortable (it's football season) and the air is crisp, and then there is winter. 

Nebraska has cold winters.  COLD.  Not cold like 32 degrees, but sub zero and windy.  Did I mention we get snow?  I don't mean an inch or two at a time.  I'm talking about lots of snow, bucket fulls of it, and sheets of ice, sleet, and slush have been known to rain down days at a time, and it can last for months.  We have the thermal gear so we get outside and contrary to my whining, I'm actually pretty conditioned to the cold after the initial shock, I don't wear a winter coat unless it's below about 20 degrees, but it's still frigid for several months out of the year. 

Brad Houston
This week, it's been beautiful.  B-E-A-utiful.  That means one thing....BBQ!  My amazing friends Kim, Chad, and Brad Houston (the recipe namesake) all came over to share in the experience!  We have video footage of the evening and so stay tuned for that!  It was quite a night of fun, food, and laughter. 

As is customary, my recipe has an inspiration and namesake.  This time it's named after my friend Brad Houston.  Brad is sweet (like honey) and saucy (like, soy sauce, get it?), one of the wittiest guys on the planet, and always willing to try out my food.  The first time we hung out it was when I was making "Kick You in the Face" pancakes so we have a great food history!

Houston Honey Teriyaki Kabobs

1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp fresh ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic
2 sweet onion, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 green bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups whole fresh mushrooms
1/2 fresh pineapple cut into 2 inch pieces
(I also threw in a small handful of organic chili pepper flakes and a banana sliced up for fun)

I like to make my marinade the night before I grill the food and let it marinade for a good 20 hours or so. 
1.In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey (or agave), soy sauce, ginger and pepper.  Set aside about 1/4 of a cup to brush on chicken while grilling.  Place the chicken, garlic, onions, mushrooms, pineapple, and peppers in the bowl, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

2.Preheat the grill for high heat.

3.Drain marinade from the chicken and vegetables, and discard marinade. Thread chicken and vegetables alternately onto the skewers. I like to cook the pineapple and banana separate since they have sweet flavors and don't take as long to cook. 

4.Lightly oil the grill surface. I use an organic olive oil spray.  Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently. I like to have a glass of green iced tea with lemon while I do this.  Especially when it's hot outside.

Served on a bed of brown rice or quinoa with some fresh lemon juice, this dinner is hearty, flavorful, and reminiscent of the summer heat even in the middle of the winter.


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