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Grilling: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Kabobs

You can't argue with meat on a stick. If someone can find a better way to pack an entire delicious grilled meal into such a perfectly portable mechanism, I'd like to hear it. On top of that, I've found kabobs to also be one of the best items to grill as a group. They get everyone around the grill, cooking their own food, and are done quickly, narrowing that time of great anticipation between when your food first hits the grill, until it reaches your mouth. This past weekend the kabobs flowed on and off my grill all afternoon, and out of three different varieties I offered, the clear crowd favorite was the bacon-wrapped chicken.

Kabobs are great enough as is, but bring some bacon into the fold, and you have yourself a masterpiece. To get these started, I soaked my chicken chunks and mushrooms in a fairly standard marinade of soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and green onion. This marinade brings a ton of flavor to the rather bland chicken breasts, and adds a lot of moisture to the mushrooms, which would normally dry out over of the high heat of the grill while waiting for the chicken to finish cooking. After letting the chicken bathe overnight, I wrapped each piece in a strip of thick cut bacon and threaded them onto skewers with the mushrooms and some pineapple chunks. Besides imparting the unbeatable flavor of bacon, the bacon fat also basted the chicken while cooking, which kept the cubes extremely moist.

Spanning the flavor spectrum from sweet to salty to earthy, these kabobs delivered the tastes of a full meal, needing no additional accompaniments. Maybe that's why these were the first to go. But even though people were disappointed after the last one was consumed, there were no complaints heard over having to eat the other sticks of meat.

About the author: Joshua Bousel blogs about grilling on his blog, The Meatwave, and appears weekly here on Serious Eats during grilling season.

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