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(Chicken Kabobs / Credit: Crystal Hessong)

When it comes to tailgating, grilling is a must. As a simple crowd pleaser, kabobs have infinite variations. This version combines a rich, smoky and sweet bourbon glaze with the sweet-tart flavor of pineapples and the savory of chicken and bacon. As the saying goes, everything’s bigger in Texas and what better way to put some big taste into tailgating than with a thick slab of bacon? 

This recipe only takes 30 minutes of preparation time, which can be done before you leave for the parking-lot tailgate. Once on the grill, the kabobs are done in 20 minutes. Make them for your next tailgating or game-watching party.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Bacon-Wrapped Pineapples and Bourbon Glaze
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Grill Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Yield: 8 skewers

Ingredients:

  • 16 bamboo skewers
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 8 oz. can pineapple chunks in juice, reserve juice
  • 8 oz. thick-cut bacon
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thigh meat, 1-inch cubes

Directions:

Place the bamboo skewers in a large bowl and cover with water to soak for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Then, preheat the grill to medium heat. Combine the bourbon, soy sauce, brown sugar and pineapple juice from the can of pineapple chunks together in a small saucepan. Heat the glaze ingredients over medium-high heat until the mixture just comes to a boil and the brown sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside half of the glaze for serving with the cooked kabobs. Use the other half for basting. 

Cut bacon strips in half. Lay the halves on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a second plate and cook for one minute on high to par-cook the bacon. Wrap each half loosely around a chunk of pineapple from the can. Thread a piece of bacon-wrapped pineapple across two skewers so the skewers go through and hold the bacon around the pineapple. Using two skewers per kabob will prevent the pineapple and chicken from spinning when you turn the kabobs. Add a cube of chicken on each pair of skewers over the pineapple, leaving 1/8-inch of space between the chicken and bacon-wrapped pineapple. Continue to alternate chicken chunks and bacon-wrapped pineapple on pairs of skewers until you have eight kabobs completed. Brush the kabobs with the bourbon glaze.

Grill the kabobs with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes per side, brushing with glaze each time you turn the kabobs. Cook for a total of 20 to 24 minutes or until the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer and the bacon is browned. Remove the kabobs from the heat and let rest for five minutes before serving with the reserved glaze. Discard the glaze you used for basting the raw meat to avoid contaminating your cooked food. 

Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. She is currently covering Home & Life. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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