Saucy Country Ham & Chicken Shish Kabobs
with grilled romaine and creamy stone ground cheddar-gouda grits
Food on a stick = Fun Food! Who remembers growing up and having shish kababs, thinking “wow, this is pretty cool… I want more!” You’ll find all sorts of tales on the origins of this stick food… many tracing to Turkish soldiers that cooked their meats over fire on their swords. Truth be told, it was probably cavemen and cavewomen who first cooked foods on sticks over fire, don’t you reckon?
Our goal is to give you a really zippy-quick recipe to throw together without much fuss incorporating Rays Country Ham in a way you have probably never considered, so instead of making a sauce recipe, just open your fridge or pantry and use whatever favorite thick barbecue sauce you have on hand. The sugar in that is what is going to give your country ham and chicken a nice little almost crunchy caramelized char we love so much. You can use white meat chicken, but we really love the flavorful moist dark meat for these kabobs. Just make sure not to pack the pieces of chicken too tightly because if you do, they may not cook properly before you burn your veggies slam up to a crisp!
Some folks like to cook their meat and veggie skewers separately, and that’s perfectly fine too. It’s also ok to add other veggies… we especially like adding chunks of squash in the summertime since it’s coming at us from every which way. And sometimes, we skip the sticks and use our vented-with-holes grill pan (or big ole cast iron skillet) and kinda stir-fry instead… which would be called the “Stickless Shish!” Just do whatever suits your fancy and you take a notion to do… just do some!
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Makes about 10 shish kabobs.
1 12-ounce package Rays Country Ham slices
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small bite-size pieces
1 cup thick barbecue sauce, divided (we used NC’s Bone Suckin’ Sauce)
1 stick butter, melted
2 bags of mini sweet peppers, cut in half lengthwise
2 large red onions, sliced into wedges and separated
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
stone ground grits
gouda and cheddar cheeses
several heads of romaine lettuce
Cut ham pieces into 1” square-ish pieces. Toss with just enough of the sauce to lightly coat.
Toss chicken pieces with enough sauce to lightly coat also.
Combine extra sauce with melted butter and set aside.
Preheat grill or light coals. If preferred, you can also roast these in a hot (450F) oven.
Line up ingredients and skewer, putting 3 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of ham on each amongst the peppers, onion and pineapple.
Place kabobs onto hot (oiled) grates. Cover and grill over direct (medium-high) heat, turning as needed, until lightly charred and chicken is 165F by thermometer. Check every 3-4 minutes, gently rotating and moving around grill so they cook evenly.
When almost done, baste kabobs generously with the sauce-butter mixture. Remove from heat and keep warm until serving. You can do this for a short time on sheet pan over indirect heat with one grill burner on low and kabobs covered with foil.
*If using wood skewers, soak in water at least one hour to prevent burning.
We serve with grilled romaine lettuce and creamy North Carolina stone ground cheddar-gouda grits.
To cook lettuce: Cut each head of lettuce in half lengthwise. Brush all over with melted butter (or dampen with butter pan spray). Place over direct (medium) heat and grill a couple of minutes on each side until lightly charred. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a dusting of crunchy flaky salt.