Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rosmary Skewered Chicken and Shrimp

I made this recipe a while back, but can't find the original, and I'm not about to search for it in the dark or by candlelight. Yes, we are still without power! If there's a contest in my mom's group for not having power the longest, I'm in the running. Anyway, I dug into the freezer yesterday and found chicken breasts and jumbo shrimp, and there is an abundance of rosemary in the garden (yes, that's a picture of it over there <--). Thanks to my husband I have a huge bush of rosemary, so if you need some, come on over. I feel like being creative, even though I'm really missing the oven.

Plan ahead and marinate the chicken a day in advance. The shrimp only need 30 minutes, otherwise the citrus in the marinade will slowly start to "cook" them, and they'll turn mushy after grilling. (Use the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe-- you won't be able to thread small shrimp onto the rosemary stems). I like to make my marinades from scratch when I can. This time, I just used about 1 cup of bottled italian dressing for the chicken (the stores are still not fully stocked from the hurricane, and I was feeling lazy).

This recipe calls for long stems of fresh rosemary. You will need to strip off some of the bottom leaves and peel off the thin bark (like peeling a carrot or cucumber). It's not hard at all, just takes a little extra time. If you don't have any long rosemary stems, just chop up some fresh bits from the produce section at the store, or use a teaspoon or two of dried rosemary. You'll still get the same flavor, though not as pronounced.
David did the grilling again, and he wanted me to tell y'all to make sure and oil your grill with a wad of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil so these herb skewers don't stick to the grates.
Rosemary Skewered Chicken and Shrimp
1 pound large/extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup bottled italian dressing or homemade marinate of choice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
10-12 stems of fresh rosemary

Combine the chicken and italian dressing/homemade marinade in a ziploc bag/bowl. Let stand in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain the meat in a colander and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the shrimp, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 3o minutes.
To prepare the rosemary stems, strip off the all the leaves about 2 inches from the cut end. Then take a vegetable peeler and gently strip off the dark "bark." It's a very thin layer, and it will come off very easily. I took some pictures so you could see the before (on the left) and the after (on the right).

Now carefully thread your meat and shrimp on the rosemary stems. It will take a little persuasion, but you won't pull any muscles doing this, I promise. You should be able to fit 3-4 pieces of meat or shrimp on each stem. Here are some pictures so you can see what they look like. Do not skewer the meat and shrimp together! The chicken will take just a few minutes longer to cook than the shrimp, so you don't want them together...otherwise you will may end up with tender chicken but tough shrimp. Here's my skewers ready for the grill.

Heat your grill to medium, and cook the chicken skewers for about 4-5 minutes on each side and the shrimp skewers for about 3-4 minutes on each side. It will really depend on your grill, so watch them carefully. I made a bag of rice to go along with our skewers. I know...I should have made a vegetable, but it was just too hot in the house. It was broccoli rice, so technically, I guess we did eat a vegetable, albeit a very minute amount ;-)
Well, what do you think? Bet you're getting jealous of my fancy dinnerware (aka Dixie paper plates), ha, ha!!!
The kids ate the chicken skewers up :-). They politely refused the shrimp. Score one for mom! Besides, David and I did not feel one bit guilty eating all the incredibly tasty shrimp. This recipe made 7 skewers of chicken, 4 skewers of shrimp. It was enough to feed the 6 of us.
God Bless your table tonight!

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