Americans have long celebrated July 4 with picnics but they didn’t always grill hamburgers and hot dogs. The Food Timeline reports that at various times in history, Americans served whole, broiled hogs; cold meats; salmon with new potatoes and green peas; and “temperance” beverages.
If you’re in search of something different, but still all-American, look back to the 1960s. That’s when Vincent and Mary Price ventured to Maui for this grilled chicken recipe published in A Treasury of Great Recipes. It was originally meant to be broiled on a hibachi, a trendy mini-grill in the 1960s. “The sauce is sensational to use on raw chicken before broiling it if you want something a little exotic for a change,” the Prices wrote. I used a full-size gas grill and cooked the chicken first, then grilled the fruit on the skewers. Sesame oil and pineapple juice no longer seem exotic but this Hawaiian recipe makes an easy addition to your menu for July 4 – or anytime.
Skewered Chicken in Sesame Soy Sauce (1965)
Sesame Soy Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 large apple, [peeled and] finely grated
3 drops sesame oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
1 1/2 cups boneless cooked chicken pieces
8 chunks fresh pineapple
8 chunks fresh apple dipped in lemon juice
- Place on each skewer: 1 chunk pineapple, 1 cube chicken, 1 cube apple, then repeat. Continue to make 4 skewers.
- Marinate the skewers in sesame soy sauce for 15 minutes. Remove from the marinade and drain.
Arrange the prepared skewers on a platter with a bowl of sesame soy sauce. Let your guests broil their own on the hibachi and use the sauce as a dip.
That does look neat!
It’s easy, too! If you want something more summery, try peaches instead of apples — just make sure they aren’t too ripe or they will fall apart.