Spicy chicken & grape skewers

This is a perfect summertime dinner, very quick to prepare and very delicious! I spotted this recipe recently in my local paper (by Ellie Krieger) and have modified it to suit our family’s preferences for slightly more spicy foods. It’s a great combination of spice plus the almost caramelized sweetness of the grapes.

You’ll need about 8 wooden or bamboo skewers (I used bamboo), 1 1/2 pounds boneless & skinless chicken breasts, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1/4 to 1/2 red pepper flakes (depending on taste), 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt (depending on taste), 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and one bunch of seedless white (green) grapes, rinsed.

To start, 30 minutes in advance, put the skewers in water to soak. (This will keep them from burning once on the grill!) Also, if you’re going to be using a gas or charcoal grill, start the grill now.

While the skewers are soaking, mix the spices in a small bowl. I put the red pepper flakes in a small mortar and crushed them before adding them to the mixture.

Stir the spices to blend.


Trim the chicken, then cut into 1-inch chunks. It’s okay if the chunks are a little different in size and shape — it adds to the visual interest.

Now, pour the spices into a large (one-gallon) plastic freezer bag. (You can also put the spices into a large bowl to blend with the chicken.)

Add the chicken cubes and toss until the cubes are evenly coated with the ground spices. Build the skewers by alternating the chicken cubes and grapes onto the skewer so that there are five chicken cubes and four grapes per skewer. Brush with the olive oil.

Place on a hot outdoor grill or, alternatively, on a preheated indoor grill pan. Cook about 4-5 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked and the grapes have begun to soften.

Remove from heat and serve! We paired the skewers tonight with two wines, an unoaked Virginia Chardonnay and a California Pinot Noir from the central coast region. The winner? The Pinot Noir!




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Filed under On Wine, Recipes, wine pairings

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