Honey-Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato and Peach Skewers

When I saw this recipe in a recent issue of Fine Cooking, I knew we'd be barbecuing it soon. Gotta love that it has juicy chunks of protein, carbs, and fruits and veggies all neatly assembled on a stick--an all-in-one meal, sprinkled with some grilled spicy pecans and served with a simple crunchy green salad on the side. Takes a bit of time to prepare the glaze and steam the sweet potato pieces before grilling but easy enough to do while prepping the other ingredients. Mixed reviews from the kids... one purist pointed out that fruit never belongs on a barbecue, while the other took this as permission to immediately scoop up the remaining peach slices from his plate. She, in turn, wasn't so keen on the sweet potato, so he stabbed those chunks with his fork and did a quick transfer to his side of the table. The meal became a trade-switch affair but the end result was still empty plates and full tummies. The two adults enjoyed every bite and didn't make any similar sharing gestures.

Honey-Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato and Peach Skewers

from Fine Cooking

serves 4

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into sixteen 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup sherry vinegar

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp canola oil, more for the grill

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 16 pieces

4 small ripe but firm peaches, quartered and pitted

1/2 small sweet onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp ground cumin

Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Soak eight 12-inch skewers in water.

In a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Steam the sweet potatoes until nearly cooked but still a bit firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Put the vinegar, 1/2 cup of the honey, 1 tbsp of the oil, 2 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp pepper in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2/3 cup, 13 to 15 minutes. (It should be thick enough to brush on easily to coat the chicken. If too thick, add a few drops of hot water.)

Meanwhile, thread the onion, chicken, sweet potato and peach onto the soaked skewers.

Reserve half the glaze. Brush the skewers with the remaining half of the glaze. Thoroughly oil the grill grate. Arrange the skewers on one side of the grill grate and grill, covered, until well marked on on side, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the pecans in a small bowl with the remaining 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Put a large piece of foil on the other side of the grill and scatter the nuts on the foil. Flip the skewers. Grill until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are bubbling, about 3 to 5 minutes more. (Keep an eye on them because they burn quickly.) Transfer the skewers to a serving platter, brush with the reserved glaze and sprinkle with the pecans.

Rest of the week

July 1 Breakfast for dinner... eggs on naan... desperate measures since we'd run out of bread

July 2 Indian food with friends at Kama Sutra

July 3 Dinner at the golf course with the family

July 4 Chicken skewers with tossed salad