Served over pasta with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese, these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs make for a tasty summer meal!
A lot of my posts focus on the main ingredient of a dish. That’s cool. I mean it’s hard to beat the flavor of a steak just off the grill or this amazing cake packed with all sorts of coconut flavor. But this post is different. Let’s focus on one of the often-overlooked ingredients today. Green onions. I keep several bunches of green onions in the fridge pretty much 99% of the time. Whether it’s to add flavor or just simply a colorful garnish, green onions are one of my go-to ingredients. Plus, my love of Cajun food is well-established, and Cajun food wouldn’t be the same without green onions. (The same can be said for Mexican and Asian foods, too.)
Green onions, also called scallions if you want to sound fancy, are just long green stems with a small white bulb at the end. The onion flavor is fairly mild, so green onions can be used either raw (as a garnish) or cooked into a recipe. And the entire green onion can be chopped and used. I once heard a chef say that he fired one of his line cooks for discarding the white bulb portions of green onions. The white parts do have a bit more onion-y flavor, but they can still be eaten raw.
One of our neighbors is a master gardener, and he grew a bunch of green onions last year. Correction — he grew a lot of bunches of green onions last year. I bumped into him in the street one evening, and he asked if I used green onions very often. I told him that I did, and he mentioned that I should come over and just pick some fresh ones from his garden if I needed more. Well, one night, I was out of green onions, and I wandered across the street. Holy cow! He wasn’t joking when he said he had plenty of extra green onions! I pulled several bunches and headed back across the street.
As is often the case, the homegrown green onions had so much more flavor than the store-bought ones. We used those green onions on everything from Cajun food to quesadillas. (A good handful of chopped green onions is one of Laura’s secrets for making the perfect quesadilla!) Inspired by my neighbor’s crop, I decided to plant some green onions in my garden this year. Speaking of growing green onions, I just learned that you can actually regrow green onions from the scrap roots. Even if you aren’t much of an outdoor gardener, this sounds easy enough. Plus, that way you’d have a steady supply of green onions right there in your kitchen!
Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs
Switching gears a bit, let’s focus on a recipe that uses green onions. Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs. These kabobs are a simple and easy summer meal, and they’re packed with excellent grill flavor! I find that squash (either yellow squash or zucchini) really absorb that grill flavor quite well. Plus, when squash are in peak season, they’re very inexpensive in the store…or “free” in your own garden! Add in some marinated chicken, and these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs make for an excellent summer meal!
Speaking of chicken, I mentioned this in another kabob post, but a good marinade is the key to delicious grilled chicken. And for a good marinade, just remember 3 things: olive oil, vinegar and an acidic juice like lemon or lime. I often start with 2 parts olive oil : 1 part vinegar : 1 part acidic juice. The vinegar can be anything from white vinegar to red wine vinegar to even apple cider vinegar depending on the flavor profile you want. The acidic juice (typically lemon, lime or even grapefruit) helps tenderize the chicken. Add in whatever seasonings you’d like (typically 1 part), and you’ve got a good marinade going. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, and then fire up the grill!
I served these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs over a simple pasta mixed with some Parmesan cheese. No sauce. Nothing fancy. I just let the grilled flavor from the chicken and veggies really be the shining star here. So if you’re in the mood for a delicious (and easy!) meal on the grill, these Grilled Blackened Chicken Kabobs are worthy of a spot on your menu. Enjoy!