I’m revving things up for summer with these super easy grilled chicken skewers! Make a bunch because they won’t last long when your friends see them on the grill!
Summer officially starts on June 21st, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on it! Let’s call it a practice run so when those grilling days do come around you’ll blow everyones mind with easy eats like these grilled chicken skewers.
The marinade is a soy sauce based mixture but with some sweetness added using orange juice and a heavy addition of straight-up orange zest. Marinate your chicken for as long as you can because your taste buds will thank you. I recommend overnight but if that’s not doable try for 3-4 hours. This recipe will make you about 3-4 large sized skewers but feel free to double the recipe because they’re so addictive!
What’s the best chicken to use for grilled chicken skewers?
I would always recommend using chicken thigh meat. I used to only use chicken breast for everything but thigh meat is perfect for grilling. It holds a little bit more fat than the breast meat and this helps keep the meat juicy. Chicken breasts can easily become dry. Chop the chicken into small strips and fold them over twice when you skewer them, don’t bunch the strips up against each other. This keeps some space between the chicken and makes them cook so much quicker.
Grilling with skewers.
You have a few options and could use wooden or metal skewers. I use both but I keep the wooden skewers for things that I know won’t take long to cook on the grill. Thin pieces of chicken, shrimp or veggies are all good to use with wooden skewers. I bring out my metal skewers when I’ll be grilling something that would be more like a kebab with bigger chunks of meat or seafood. If I used wooden skewers, they wouldn’t last long enough before burning out. Using metal skewers takes the worry of your skewers going up in flames!
Marinating the chicken or any meat and seafood is a great way to add flavor and make the protein tender. I recommend an overnight marinade process but sometimes this isn’t possible, so try for at least four hours. More time equals more flavor! Small chunks and thin slices will absorb flavor faster. There is an exception to the rule when the marinade is highly acidic and the chemical reaction will actually start to cook the protein like a classic ceviche!
Ideas for serving your grilled chicken skewers.
- Serve on a bed of cilantro citrus rice.
- As is with a side of Sriracha for dipping.
- With an Asian style slaw salad.
- Add to a healthy rice bowl.
- With cauliflower rice.
- Grilled Steak Kebabs with Cherry BBQ Sauce
- Grilled Romaine Salad
- Grilled Lamb Meatballs with Gremolata
- Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Aioli
Easy Grilled Chicken Skewers
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced
- pinch Black pepper
- Slice the chicken into small strips and add to a medium sized bowl.
- Also to the bowl add the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, rice wine, zest, orange juice, green onion and black pepper.
- Mix the chicken and the marinade ingredients together very well and let rest.
- Soak 4-5 wooden skewers in cold water while the chicken marinades.
- Once you're ready to grill the chicken, thread it onto the skewers leaving about two inches at the top and bottom.
- Preheat the grill to a high heat.
- Place the skewers on the hot grill and grill for about 4 minutes on each side. They may take longer depending on how thick you sliced the chicken.
- Garnish with more green onions, sliced orange zest and red pepper flakes.