Aug 21, 2011

Chicken and Green Grape Skewers

Chicken and Grape Skewers

Each time I look at my calendar I’m always shocked to see the date; it’s already mid to almost late August! Schools are starting one by one and although I will still be wearing short sleeves and maybe even shorts in September, fall is really and truly just around the corner! I think a normal response to this is to desperately hold on to any and everything that says summer. When it comes to food, you want to eat as much of the ripe fruit as you can. The peaches by me are already not nearly as fresh and juicy as they were a few weeks ago. Apple picking time is right around the corner but with with berry and stone fruit season coming to a close, that also means an end to some of my favorite fruit crisps!

As much as people love their summer fruit, grilling is another thing at the top of the “summer” favorite list! Of course you can continue to turn on the grill during the fall and winter but it’s just not the same as it is during the peak of summer. Before the time completely slips away and we find ourselves turning in the short sleeve shirts for long sleeves and sweaters, I have a great grilled chicken meal. I’ve made it quite a few times now because the flavor is fantastic and grilled grapes are involved! If you’ve never grilled grapes (we hadn’t before this) you will do it this one time and then wonder why you had never done it before! The green grapes will become even sweeter and when combined with the cumin and coriander marinade on the chicken, you will have yourself a great flavor duo!

Here is what you need:


(Adapted from Ellie Krieger. Makes 2 servings of chicken and grape skewers.)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 10-inch skewers
  • 3/4 cup seedless green grapes

The first thing to know about this dish is that it is extremely simple but does require a tad bit of planning ahead of time. The chicken is going to sit in a marinade before it hits the grill and it needs to stay in the marinade for a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 4 hours. If you’re headed out for a bit or you have some other things to take care of around the house before dinner, go ahead and put the marinade together and let your chicken sit for a bit while you take care of what you need to do. When you return, your chicken will smell delicious and will be ready to hit the grill! For the marinade, add to a medium-size bowl the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, cumin, coriander and salt. Whisk these ingredients together. With your chicken breasts cubed, add them to the bowl with the marinade and toss the pieces around so that everything is thoroughly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge to marinade between 20 minutes and 4 hours.

Important note to remember about your skewers: while the chicken marinates, let your skewers soak in water so that when they hit the grill they don’t end up black and burnt (this is only if you are using wooden skewers).

When you’re ready to grill, wash your grapes and grab your chicken from the fridge. Thread the chicken and grapes onto the skewers, alternating the chicken and grapes. Prepare your inside or outside grill and cook the chicken over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side. You want to make sure your chicken is completely cooked through. That’s all that it takes to put these skewers together! The marinade is what takes up the most time and the great part about that is that it requires nothing from you once you combine all the ingredients!

To make a complete meal out of the skewers we made an orzo salad with zucchini, peppers and homemade pesto. If you wanted to keep as much as you could on the grill, you could grill the zucchini and red peppers along with your skewers and then just chop both up to add to the orzo. While everything is grilling you can cook your pasta and throw together a quick and delicious pesto. Another great addition is grilled french bread. We pick up a fresh loaf of bread and brush on a little bit of olive oil and grill this side. You’ll get great grill marks and right when you take it off sprinkle just a bit of kosher salt onto the grilled side.

Grilled Bread

As you can see this meal is low key and can even be an easy clean up by putting not only the skewers but your other dinner components all right on the grill! You’ll have dinner together in just under 30 minutes, which leaves you with more time to enjoy these last few summer evenings! This is also a great meal to make when you have company over. You can just make as many skewers as you need (typically 2-3 per person) and it’s always easy to double or triple a pasta salad. You won’t spend the whole time in your kitchen and you’ll actually get to spend time with your friends and family when you have them over. Hold on to these last few weeks of summer and for now, that’s chicken and green grape skewers…in the shell of a nut!

Chicken and Grape Skewers with Grilled Bread and Orzo Salad

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