The Nystul family is ALL about grilling during the summertime. Our grill-centric summer routine was established a few years ago, partly as a measure to avoid heating up the house. (We didn’t have central air conditioning at the time, so turning on the stove or oven effectively cancelled out the efforts of our window A/C unit.)
But even once we got central air installed, we still kept to our grilling ways! It’s quick, easy, and it just tastes good, even when the food itself is relatively simple. That is certainly the case with the recipe that I’ll be sharing with you today, which has been in our dinner rotation frequently over the past few weeks!
But who can blame me? There’s just no reason not to enjoy tangy and delicious grilled chicken skewers as often as humanly possible. ;-) Following the recipe, I’ve included a few extra “tips for success” that will help you avoid some common skewer-related pitfalls. So grab your spatula and throw on your favorite tacky apron, because it’s grilling time! :-)
Garlic Lemon Chicken Skewers
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4” pieces
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and stir to coat. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium heat.
Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers and discard any extra marinade.
Place the skewers on the grill, cover, and cook for 8-12 minutes until the chicken is done, turning once during cooking. Transfer the finished skewers to a warmed platter and serve.
6 Tips For Skewer Success
Tip #1: Stick To One Ingredient Per Skewer
Loading up a skewer with chicken, onions, peppers, and mushrooms always seems like a great idea. But in reality, it just results in food that is cooked extremely unevenly! The chicken might be perfectly cooked, but the onions stay nearly raw, the peppers end up crunchy, and the mushrooms get are rubbery.
Instead, thread each skewer with just one ingredient each. Cooking chicken skewers, onion skewers, pepper skewers, and so on is so much easier overall. When everything is cooked, you can either remove the foods from the skewers and put them on a serving plate, or bring them straight to the table for a more casual meal. Easy!
Tip # 2: Leave Some Breathing Room
When you’re threading ingredients onto your skewers, make sure to leave a little extra space between each piece. This help you achieve more even cooking, as tightly packed skewers often end up undercooked in the center.
Tip #3: Avoid Skewer Slip-Ups
Certain foods end up twirling around your skewers or sliding off the ends, which is really frustrating! To eliminate this issue, just thread them onto two skewers placed side-by-side.
Another common skewer issue is when the ends burn up partway through cooking. An easy fix is to add makeshift “handles” onto your prepped skewers by wrapping a small piece of tin foil around the end! You’ll still need to flip the skewers with tongs, but the tin foil will prevent the skewer ends from burning up or breaking off.
(But the absolute easiest way to avoid burned-up skewers is to opt for stainless steel skewers instead! They’re inexpensive and infinitely reusable!)
Tip #4: Prep Your Grill
Don’t forget to prep your grill before you start cooking. The ideal grilling surface is clean, hot, and well-oiled. Scrape the grates clean, pre-heat your grill, then rub some oil onto the grates just before you add your skewers. Taking the time to prep your grill beforehand makes grilling so much easier.
Tip #5: Keep It Clean
When you’re grilling foods that have been marinated or sauced, things can get messy really fast! I like to use a grill mat for “wetter” foods to help prevent flare-ups and to keep my grates cleaner.
A grill mat is useful when you’re cooking delicate foods like seafood or tomatoes, because it prevents them from sticking to the grates. They won’t get as much of that “grill flavor” from the grates, but you’ll also end up with a lot less cleanup afterward!
Tip #6: Temp Your Meat
Very few things have done as much for my confidence as a cook than my instant-read digital thermometer. Using one takes all the guesswork out of grilling meat, because you’ll know exactly when it’s done to your liking! (And be sure to download my free printable guide to meat temperatures to use as a reference guide!)
What’s your favorite easy grilling recipe?
Garlic Lemon Chicken Skewers
- 3 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 3/4” pieces
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and stir to coat.
- Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2-8 hours.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat.
- Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers and discard the extra marinade.
- Place the skewers on the grill, cover, and cook for 8-12 minutes until cooked through, turning once during cooking.
- Transfer the finished skewers to a warmed platter and serve.