Grilling is a quintessential part of summer in this house. We love to pull out the charcoal grill, light up the woodchips and coals and wait for them to be ready to put the food on to the grill racks. Propane grills do offer the convenience and speed that is great for mid-week dinners, but the charcoal grill gives you the chance to offer love and nurture, which makes food so good. The longer you have to wait the better the meal.
If we are going to commit the time to use the charcoal grill I like to make it a special meal, with new flavors or products, or even just extra decadence. I got lucky a few months ago with an unexpected thank you gift from a work buddy. A thank you wasn’t necessary, but certainly was appreciated, especially because it has two of my favorite things- chocolate and chili pepper. The Sweet “N” Spicy Cocoa rub is dynamite; chalked with flavor and would make a great marinate for grilled chicken.
- ½ tablespoon Dove Discoveries Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Cocoa Rub
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound fresh chicken breast, cut in 1” cubes
- ½ large green pepper, cut into 1” pieces
- ½ large red pepper, cut into 1” pieces
- ½ large onion, cut into 1” pieces
Mix first three ingredients together and add in the raw cubed chicken. Allow to marinate overnight or at least 8 hours. Assemble kebabs alternating the chicken and vegetables. Grill over slow coals or on your propane grill until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165.
The cocoa flavor was very mild, barely noticeable, but offered the earthy flavor that you find in a mole sauce. I served a grilled peach salsa with the kebabs- a perfect complement to the spicy chicken.
Summer dinners are perfect time to slow down and enjoy friends and family. They are also the time to take advantage to the gardens bounty the season offers, to play with flavors and add love to the dinner table.
Cooking is an art and patience a virtue… Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist – not perhaps in the representational style of a Dutch master, but rather more like Gauguin, the naïve, or Van Gogh, the impressionist. Plates or pictures of sunshine taste of happiness and love.
~ Chef Keith Floyd