It’s grilling season—time to cook outdoors, to smell the flowers and enjoy the sunshine. Here are two great recipes to add to your repertoire of outdoor cuisine.  Chicken kebabs with a honey mustard sauce is delicious accompanied with vegetable kebabs and served over a bed of Israeli couscous.  To ensure success, make sure that the kebabs are uniform in size and place chicken and vegetables on separate skewers (see photo).  To make  vegetable kebabs, simply thread vegetables of choice on skewers, brush with oil, season with salt and pepper and place on preheated grill.  If preferred, you can substitute the chicken in the recipe with a firm fish, such as halibut or salmon.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for Chicken Kebabs with a Honey Mustard Sauce

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar*
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chicken stock**
  • ½ cup honey mustard***
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

Before you begin, you will need bamboo or metal skewers.  Make sure to have at least one dozen skewers for the chicken and any vegetable kebabs you plan on grilling.

Thread the chicken cubes onto the skewers leaving space on either end of skewers to allow for easy turning from side to side.  Brush kebabs with 2 tablespoons oil, then season with salt and pepper.

In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining canola oil.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce to about 1 tablespoon.

Add the brown sugar and cook for one minute.

Whisk in the chicken stock, honey mustard and curry powder and combine well all ingredients.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until sauce has thickened to desired consistency.

Preheat your barbecue/grill for at least five minutes.

Place kebabs on the barbecue.  After about 5 minutes flip the kebabs and brush on the honey mustard sauce.

Grill for another 5 minutes, flip kebabs and brush the other side with the sauce.

The chicken kebabs should take about 10 minutes total to grill.  Make sure they are cooked through on the inside and no longer pink.

Serves 4

Notes

* I use Alessi Raspberry Blush White Balsamic Vinegar, but feel free to use regular balsamic or to experiment with other vinegars.

** Homemade chicken stock is the best, but it is ok to use store bought or canned chicken stock or bullion cubes.

*** I use Honeycup Honey Mustard available in most supermarkets.

Ingredients for Israeli Couscous Pilaf

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Israeli Couscous*
  • 2 and ½ cups of boiling chicken stock or water
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted**
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • olive oil

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Sauté onion and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups Israeli couscous and cook until lightly browned.

Add boiling chicken stock or water to couscous, reduce heat, and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Allow couscous to cool to room temperature.

Add pine nuts, parsley, chives, salt and pepper to taste and combine well.

Sprinkle the juice of one lemon and drizzle about 1 to 2 tablespoons of  olive oil over the couscous and mix well.

Serves 8

Notes

* Israeli couscous are tiny round toasted pasta shapes that are made from semolina and wheat flour.  You can find it in most local supermarkets.

** To toast pine nuts:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place pine nuts in a baking pan and toast for 5 to 7 minutes.