Marinated, Grilled Turkey Kabobs with Grilled Vegetable Skewers
Winter, spring, summer or fall. Any time is a good time to be grilling indoors or out. A delicious and easy weeknight meal is marinated, grilled turkey kabobs served with a side of grilled vegetable skewers.
If you are like me, three thirty rolls around and you realize you have NOT thought about what you are going to serve for dinner! I stop by the grocery store and pick up a package of Shady Brook Farms marinated turkey loins, a few bell peppers and an onion or two and we are all set for a delicious dinner.
- 1 package Shady Brook Farms marinated Turkey loins (flavor of your choice)
- Zesty Italian Herb
- Lemon Garlic
- Cracked Pepper
- 2 Bell Peppers
- 1 Red Onion
- Rice (optional)
I like the red and yellow bell peppers but use what peppers your family would enjoy most.
I am a fan of the red onion but if all you have on hand is a white or yellow onion, that will work as well.
Cut the bell peppers into approximately 2 inch pieces.
Slice the onion into the same size. Do your best to keep the onions together as this will make it easier to thread them onto the skewer.
I like to use metal skewers when I am making kabobs as they are more sturdy, are reusable and conduct heat. If you don’t have metal skewers and are using bamboo or wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for a minimum of 30 minutes to keep them from burning when you grill your turkey and vegetables.
Thread the peppers and onions on the skewers, alternating peppers and onions.
Shady Brook Farms Turkey Breast Tenderloins
These turkey breast tenderloins are premartinated in a variety of delicious flavors and are a great help for a busy weeknight meal. Keep your eyes open for the newly redesigned packaging in your grocers meat case.
Shady Brook Farms turkeys are raised without growth-promoting antibiotics, hormones and steroids. All three of these points are what I look for when I am purchasing meat for my family. Additionally, Shady Brook Farms turkeys are raised by more than 700 independent family farmers trained on animal handling practices that meet or exceed industry standards. Meet the amazing family farmers who raise our wholesome turkeys at 700reasons.com!
Reserve the extra marinade from the marinated turkey breast tenderloins.
Brush the reserved marinade over the vegetable skewers.
Cut the tenderloins into two inch pieces.
Consistency is key in your cutting. By all the pieces being the same size, they will cook at the same rate and reach temperature at the same time.
Thread the turkey pieces onto the skewers.
I want you to make note that I have vegetables and turkey on separate skewers. This way you are sure that the turkey is cooked to the proper internal temperature (165 F.) and the vegetables are able to cook to the doneness that your family enjoys.
I love grilling outdoors but here in the winter of the north east, I take the help of an indoor grill pan I the winter months.
Set the temperature to medium high and allow the grill pan to heat thoroughly before placing your turkey skewers on the pan.
My grill pan is well worn in so I do not need to add extra oil to the surface before placing my skewers. If your pan is on the newer side, you might want to brush a bit of vegetable oil over the surface before placing the skewers.
Allow the turkey skewers to sear nicely and take on nice grill marks before flipping them over.
I grill them about 10 minutes per side.
I also add a layer of foil to make a tent to keep the heat in place. This rest time will also allow the juices of the turkey to redistribute throughout the turkey kabob.
Also, be sure to turn on an exhaust fan.
Cover with foil
Once again, I just a foiled tent when I grill indoors. When grilling outdoors there is the lid of the grill to keep the heat in. The foil acts as the lid of the grill when grilling indoors.
Grill the vegetable skewers along side the turkey skewers, if you have room. My grill pan is not big enough to accommodate both at the same time so I have to do them in separate batches.
I keep the turkey skewers covered in foil while the vegetables cook.
Color equals flavor
Keep in mind that a bit of color on the vegetables equals flavor! the marinade that you brush on will tie the meat and the vegetables together with the same flavor profile.
Serve the marinated grilled turkey kabobs with the grilled vegetable skewers on a platter with steamed rice, if you are serving family style.
This is how I serve this meal if I am serving a large crowd, like when we are having friends over for dinner.
Or plate them individually, removing the turkey and the vegetables from the skewers.
This is how I serve this meal to my family of five on a weeknight. Skewers turn into swords at the dinner table in my house! I want the kids to focus on the delicious meal in front of them, not trying to challenge each other to a sword fight!
Meet The Turkeys
In October I was invited to meet one of the 700 farmers that is part of the Shady Brook Farms turkey growing family. I grew up in a rural county in Maryland, was part of the 4-H program and have been around farm animals more than the average city dweller. This was my first time on a farm of this acreage and I had a few questions about how they farmed.
How do you protect the birds from outside diseases and predators?
Do you see the lovely bunny suits we are wearing? This is what the farmers wear each time they go into the barns.
Why such extremes? Because they care for the health of the birds. They are protecting the birds, not themselves.
You never know what germ or air borne disease you might be taking into the barn that might harm the flock so everyone is covered up. Hair, shoes, clothing, beards, hands all are covered up.
Additionally, the birds are kept in enclosed barns. The reason is not to keep them from flying away but to keep predators such as foxes, wolves and hawks away from the flock.
The enclosure is also good for the birds in that they are able to regulate the room temperature, sanitation of the water and cleanliness of the food source. Turkeys are pretty sensitive birds and when they are babies they need specific temperatures to keep them happy and healthy.
The enclosure keeps outside fecal matter from entering the flock. That is right, I said poop. If the birds were in an open air enclosure the wild life in the area would inadvertently drop fecal matter in the flock. Mice, bunnies, ground hogs as well as the aviary wild life would drop fecal matter in the flock. No one wants outside feces in a flock.
Walk, Rinse and Repeat
Once you walk to the barn, your covered shoes are sprayed off and a second round of shoe covers goes over top of your shoes. It may sound a bit much but you never know what you may have stepped in on the way to the barn.
Every precaution is taken to protect the birds from outside germs.
As a parent I know I did what I could to keep my babies safe and warm. The Shady Brook Farmers do the same for their turkeys.
I learned that turkeys are VERY curious animals. They love all things shiny, noisy and different from themselves. For this reason we weren’t allowed to wear earrings, necklaces or anything that might make the birds want to check us out.
Turkeys also are pickers. If they see something on another bird they will want to pick it off. This can lead to bites and bites can lead to blood and blood can lead to curiosity in other birds. The whole cycle just goes down hill from there and the safety of that bird is now in jeopardy. To prevent bites and pecking the one day old birds have their beaks microwaved.
No! They don’t stick the birds heads in a microwave like you have in your house. It is a little tool that the tip of the beak is placed into and the very sharp tip of the beak is made rounded. It is a fast process and it is similar to trimming your fingernails but using microwaves.
I wanted you to see what the inside of a Shady Brook Farm turkey barn looks like.
This is HALF the size of the barn because I didn’t want to walk to the OTHER side of the barn to take the picture. It is HUGE! Pictured here are about 16,000 five day old turkeys. They are all girls.
I wanted to know where the boys were and why the boys and girls weren’t in mixed company. The boys, or Toms, are at another farm. The reason they keep them segregated is because the Toms can be pretty aggressive. I am not talking about pecking the hens but, um, they like to practice making other baby turkey babies with the girls. It stresses the girls out and there is fighting. Fighting turkeys is not a good scene.
I was BEYOND impressed at the conditions these birds were housed. The bedding on the barn floor was thick wood shavings and below the shaving was a heated floor. Yes, the turkeys have a heated floor. The heat from the floor in this barn came from heated water and the heat came from a furnace that the farmer fed with wood chips from the farm.
The water had the PH and other levels checked multiple times a day. I am just happy when I remember to switch out my water filter in my refrigerator every 6 months. These turkeys have it pretty good!
I was beyond impressed that there was no ‘barn smell’ in the barn. I have been in barns and there is a distinct odor that comes with livestock. I asked if it was because the birds were so little. Turns out they have an excellent ventilation and air circulatory system.
I have to say that after this visit to the farm I am even more impressed with Shady Brook Farm as a brand. The level of care, consideration and how they partner with over 700 family farmers to produce turkeys is wonderful. I love that there are no added growth promoting hormones, steroid or antibiotics. Those are key points for me. I am now more confident than ever that the Shady Brook Farm turkey that I feed my family is at the quality from farm to plate that I want for my family.