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I'll replace this with a photo the next time we make it.  In the meantime, imagine something that looks a little like a ham-colored meat loaf without the tomato sauce and tastes better than most glazed ham.
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Written by Paul D. Race for FamilyChristmasOnline.com

Marinated Chicken - from Family Christmas OnlineTM

Okay, this isn't a Christmas recipe, per se, but it is extremely useful when you need to feed people delicious food on a budget. On the other hand, my friends in Australia may very well use something like this for a Christmas or New Year's meal.

We first encountered this recipe thirty or so years ago, and have been sharing it with people ever since. It works great for marinating not only chicken, but also most vegetables that you can "shish-kebob" or grill. In fact, if you just use the sauce for vegetables, you can save the sauce, refrigerate it, and use it again a few days later (that's where the budget part comes in). Any sauce that has been used for meat, though, needs to be used up while you're grilling, or else disposed of.

We usually serve this over a bed of rice. If you're doing this in the summer and you're wondering how to cook a bunch of tasty rice without boiling water on the stove, try our Easy Rice Pilaf recipe.

Note: This is NOT a low sodium meal.

What You Need

For the marinade sauce you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspons salt

For the meat, use chicken breast. I prefer it chopped up, marinated, and shish-kebobed along with the vegetables. It does pick up the flavor more that way. But if you rember to marinate the meat for several hours before you grill, it still tastes great.

In addition, you'll want to make rice however you prefer to make it, a 1/2 or so of dry rice cup per serving. Our Easy Rice Pilaf recipe is not only easy; it can also be done in the microwave, a big plus for the days when you don't need any more heat or humidity in the house.

For the veggies, I like:

  • Whole mushrooms
  • Summer squash, including sliced yellow squash and zucchini
  • Onions, quartered
  • Cherry tomatoes (though Romas are fine, especially if they're quartered and shished)
  • Red bell pepper, sliced and shished
  • Anything else you can grill or shish.

Safety Concerns

  • Do not cut the meat and veggies on the same surface or with the same knife, unless they have been cleaned with soap in between.
  • If you need to marinate the meat more than an hour, do so in the refrigerator.
  • Do not put the meat right into the marinade sauce. Instead, put it into the container you plan to marinade the meat in, and pour just enough sauce to marinate the meat. You will have to dispose of this sauce (or pour it over the meat while you're grilling), so only use as much as you need.

    When you begin grilling, make certain that you have a clean pan or serving bowl to put the finished meat and veggies into (don't reuse the bowl you had the raw meat in without washing it with soap and hot water).

Prep and Cooking Tips

This recipe is almost bullet-proof, but here are some things that we've discovered that help give the best possible results.

As I mentioned above, dicing the chicken breast and shishing it gives the best flavor, but if you have to leave the breasts intact, try to marinate them for more than an hour. Turn them a few times to make certain that each surface gets exposed to the sauce.

The longer you can marinate the ingredients, the better they taste. (Just don't leave the chicken out for more than an hour.)

When you shish items, especially the chicken, leave a very small gap between items so they can be exposed to heat all the way around.

If you have kept the meat and veggies entirely separate, you can reuse the sauce from the veggies. Just pour it into a watertight container and store it in the refrigerator until you need it again.

If I'm doing intact chicken breasts and shished veggies, I can usually get them both done at the same time by putting the veggies on the top tray of my grill and leaving the lid closed most of the time.

Since you have to dispose of the sauce that was used on the chicken, I usually take it out to the grill with me and continue pouring it on the chicken until it is all gone. That said, depending on how deep your grill is, the oil from the sauce may cause flame-ups that will singe the chicken before it is actually cooked through, so don't assume that brown on the outside = done.

When possible, I use the grill on medium heat and turn things a few times to get the chicken nicely brouned (and usually lightly singed) on both sides and the veggies cooked evenly.

Make certain that the meat is cooked all the way through. If you're not certain, you can take a knife out to the grill with you, and cut the breasts in half as you take them off the grill to be sure. No pink meat or red juices!

If your tomatoes start to self-destruct, it's time to take them off before they all fall into the fire. When the veggies are done, slide them carefully off your kabobs into a bowl and cover to keep warm until it's time to serve.

Click for bigger photo.I like to serve the veggies on a bed of rice. Usually they give off enough juice to flavor the rice, but if the rice is dry, you can always set the soy sauce out on the table as well. The photo to the right shows chicken breast from this recipe cut up onto a casserole of our Easy Rice Pilaf

Even if I've grilled the chicken breasts whole, I prefer to slice them before serving them, but if you prefer to serve them whole, that's fine, too.

As you can see by my list of suggestions, as long as you keep the raw meat separate from the veggies, and get the chicken done all the way through, you can do about anything you want with either and still wind up with great taste.

Here's a wierd addendum, this marinade makes chicken taste so rich, that I thought it might really make beef taste good. It doesn't Go figure.

Hope this gives you some ideas and helps your holiday gathering to be the best ever.

Please let us know if you have any feedback suggestions, additions, or corrections.

Happy Holidays,

Paul Race


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