This Mediterranean Chicken Skewers Recipe is a delicious go-to dish that is perfect for any occasion. Paprika and parsley are perfectly paired with garlic and bright lemon for a full-flavored skewer that will blow you away. You are sure to have these every day ingredients on hand to make the juiciest chicken dinner your family has ever had.
These Mediterranean Chicken Skewers were a customer favorite for catering events. I have literally made thousands of these skewers and they never disappoint. They fly off the grazing table and people always come back for seconds when they are on the dinner or lunch menu. So when I say you need this recipe; you really need this recipe.
Is Chicken Breast or Chicken Thigh Meat better for skewers.
For this recipe, I use Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs instead of breast meat. Chicken thigh meat is fattier than breast meat and I find that it is tastier and more forgiving to cook. Small pieces of chicken breast meat are easy to dry out on the grill and just don’t have the juicy flavor that boneless skinless thighs carry.
Cut the Chicken Pieces up to be approximately the same size for evenly cooked Mediterranean Chicken Skewers.
Even pieces make for even cooking. You are bound to end up with some different sized pieces because the thighs themselves are irregularly shaped, but do your best. When you put the chicken on the skewers try not to bunch up or compress large pieces. Give the bigger pieces a little space so they get good contact with the grill and cook through just as quickly as the small skewers.
The marinade makes this dish!
This marinade packs a wallop of flavor with garlic and lemon juice. Be a bit careful when you put the chicken in this marinade. It is very acidic because of the lemon juice. Lemon juice can degrade the quality of the meat if left to sit too long so you should put the marinade on right before skewering the chicken.
Is it better to Marinade on the chicken skewers before or dress the chicken after it is cooked?
Divide the marinade in half. Use the first half to season the chicken right before cooking. The second half, I store away from raw chicken. Once the chicken skewers come off the grill brush them with the remaining marinade. The hot chicken skewers take up the extra flavor readily. Adding the remaining marinade at the end gives the chicken a much more intense flavor and a beautiful, mouthwatering shine.
This before and after marinade technique is great for any quick cooking meat recipe.
When it comes to handling chicken, don’t forget the basics. It is all about good hygiene and proper cooking.
It is very important to have clean habits when handling raw chicken or any other raw foods. If you save part of a marinade, prepare it and divide it before handling the meat. If your marinade has come into contact with your chicken then it must be heated to 165° for at least 30 seconds. You can easily achieve this by bringing the marinade to a simmer in a small saucepan.
Chicken needs to be cooked all the way through. The most reliable way to check is to use a meat thermometer to make sure the center of the chicken pieces reaches 165° F.
A Skewer For All Occasions: How to Serve Mediterranean Chicken Skewers
I have used this recipe for years on my catering service, and it has been a crowd pleaser that never disappoints.. This recipe can be made into small appetizer size skewers and can be a delicious, filling addition to a grazing table. It is a great lunch item and goes great with a variety of salads. Made as shown here, it is a perfect main course.
Adding lemon wedges to these Mediterranean Chicken Skewers isn’t a necessary step, but it will add to the overall presentation. Serve these chicken skewers on a plane platter over greens for a fresh modern look. Grill a few extra lemons for color. Traditional Greek Salad and Rice Pilaf served on the side will make your meal complete.
“That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”- William Wordsworth
Mediterranean Chicken Skewers
- 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs Cubed
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive OIl
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice Fresh, approximately 1 whole lemon
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 Tablespoons Dry Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 Lemons Sliced and quartered for skewering
- In a small bowl, mix the extra virgin olive oil together with the juice of 1 lemon (approximately 2-3 tablespoons), salt, pepper, paprika, granulated garlic, and dry parsley. After mixing well, pour half of the marinade into a food storage bag.
- Reserve the remaining marinade. Store remaining marinade away from raw chicken.
- Take the remaining two lemons and cut them into thick slices. Then quarter the slices for bite sized pieces for skewering.
- Cut the chicken thighs into two inch pieces, and put them into the food storage bag with the marinade. Seal the bag and shake it to coat the chicken pieces.
- Thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating chicken and lemon pieces. Give the larger pieces some space so that more surface area can make contact with the grill.
- Heat a large skillet, griddle pan, or barbecue to a medium/high heat. Once the pan is hot, lay the skewers down carefully so as not to overcrowd them.
- Get a nice sear on the outside of the chicken and then turn the heat down to medium/medium low.
- Once the first side is well browned, approximately 7 minutes, turn the skewer. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. Thigh meat is irregular in shape, you may need to turn three times to get all sides of the skewer to make contact with the grill.
- Once the chicken skewers are nicely browned and the centers have reached 165°, remove from the pan coat with reserved marinade.
- Serve with your favorite salad and rice dish for a complete meal.