Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marinated Chicken and Grape Skewers (CEIMB)

This week's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe comes from her newer cookbook, So Easy.   It's a very original grilled dish, combining sweet-tart green grapes with a beautifully marinated chicken.  I can't say this is something I would have thought to try on my own, but I'm glad someone did.

The chicken is marinated in a combination of citrus, garlic, and far eastern spices, giving it an exotic flavor that pairs nicely with the surprising tang of the green grapes.   The book recommends serving it with a simple warm lentil and spinach salad, made up of sauteed onions and spinach with cooked lentils, parsley, mint, basil, and lemon juice.   The salad complements the skewers  nicely, but of course I think most side dishes would.

I found that making both the lentil dish and the chicken skewers was a bit of work for a weekday, but it didn't take that long.  And it was definitely worth the trouble.  The skewers alone were quite easy to do, so if you want to pick a simpler side dish to make your life a bit easier, that might be a good idea.

Food on skewers is inherently fun to eat, so you could probably convince children and adults alike to give this a try.  It's different, delicious, and healthy. 

Marinated Chicken and Grape Skewers
adapted from Ellie Krieger's So Easy
serves 2


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of salt
1/2 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 10-inch skewers
12 or so seedless green grapes
cooking spray
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves


1.  Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt in a bowl.  Toss the chicken pieces in the marinade and let marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to 4 hours.    If using wooden skewers, soak them in water during this time.

2.  Preheat a grill pan over medium-high.  Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, alternating with grapes.  Spray the grill pan with cooking spray, then lay the skewers onto the grill pan.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.

3.  Serve the skewers topped with the scattered mint leaves, two skewers per person.



  1. It's always a plus when you like the results of your hard work.
    I'll try this one again but for a party. This time I used shrimp, no grapes (don't get eaten) and we weren't thrilled.

  2. I didn't look at the cookbook until I was actually preparing the chicken, so I completely missed out on the lentil salad. It looks great, and I hope to try it soon. Glad to hear they went together well!

  3. This looks wonderful. Great that it can be grilled indoors and I shall try this one using my new grill pan.

  4. Skewer food is good food! I love chicken & grapes - it's like white wine only more fun to play with. Last week was skewer salad for us - chicken, tomatoes and feta skewers on a green salad.

  5. Thanks for cooking with me this week on CEiMB! I really enjoyed this dish as well. :)