Summer in Michigan and grilling go hand in hand, sure technically we could grill year round but there is just something special about the sun shining down while the smoke rises up and that unmistakable sizzle when the food hits the grates (plus having to shovel a path to your grill is a real bummer!).
I love making kabobs, they cook fast, there is more surface area for marinades or glazes to hang on to and kids think food on a stick is fun! One of our family’s favorite flavor combos is pineapple and chicken in a soy sauce based marinade. I found this one from Pinterest a few years ago and we really like it.
Eating organically is important to me but we are also a single income household and I have to be conscious of that as I make decisions in the grocery store. Some things are far more important than others to buy organic and in this recipe the chicken, sugar, and soy are my focus. Organic chicken is not given any drugs, hormones or antibiotics and also is never fed GMO corn. Sugar and Soybeans are 2 of the crops most likely to be grown from GMO seeds in this country but anything certified organic has been proven to not be GMO. The price difference is not that great on the sugar and soy and it is well worth it in this case.
Making the marinade was quick and easy, the pineapple I bought already cored – Pineapple is on the EWG ‘Clean Fifteen’ list and likely not contaminated with pesticides, it is also not likely to be a GMO crop so buying conventional is a safe bet….I am just terrible at coring a pineapple myself and I would rather pay a little extra to eliminate that stress so I simply sliced the pineapple and 2 of the slices I further cut into chunks and tossed those in the marinade with the chunks of chicken.
For the chicken I actually only used one large breast for this recipe – I am amazed how far I can usually stretch chicken when I serve it cut up in some way and with other veggies or fruits to fill up the plate. When I serve full breasts I usually need 3 (one for my husband and I each and one for my 2 young kids to split) but since these kabobs are going to be skewered with pineapple and served with rice, a filling side dish, I know that one large breast will be enough. This is another way to save, organic meats are more expensive than conventional and I know that can add up really fast so every little bit helps. Full disclosure, we probably could have used a little bit more, not a full second breast but I also didn’t want leftovers because we are going out of town tomorrow, otherwise I would probably have done 2 breasts. If you need more than 2 medium to large breasts to feed your family I would recommend doubling the marinade.
I let the chicken and pineapple chunks marinate for a few hours before sliding them on to metal skewers. I have learned to leave a little space between pieces to ensure even cooking. If you are using wooden skewers make sure to soak them for at least 20 minutes ahead of time to minimize burning. My grill was pre heating while I put together the kabobs so I oiled it quick and placed my skewers so that I could still close the lid on the grill. I turned them about every 5 minutes until they were fully cooked and we all enjoyed them with a side of long grain brown rice and green beans.
I had meant to toss the pineapple rings onto the grill during the last five minutes of cooking but I forgot! I really like the flavor grilling gives to fruits and pineapple rings are super easy to grill so I highly recommend it.
This is an easy light meal with tons of flavor that is perfect for a Michigan summer evening – enjoy!