Marinating chicken breast in orange juice, lime juice, chile powder and chipotle peppers gives this easy chicken kebab recipe a fabulous kick of flavor before it hits those hot grill grates. An easy and healthy grilled chicken recipe for a classic Summer dinner option.
About This Recipe and Why It Works
Easy Summer recipes are a must for me this year. As I’ve mentioned, I’m attending Culinary School in Downtown Denver.
The alarm announces the beginning of the day at 4:30 a.m. and the clanging of the light rail train announces my departure to downtown at 6:12. Outfitted in my chef coat and hat and industrial non-skid shoes, I’m at my post at 7:30 and learning cooking skills that I never even knew existed. I’m absolutely loving every second I spend at school.
Needless to say, I’m on my feet all day, cooking rich indulgent food all day, so fast easy healthy meals are important for our dinner routine.
Cue this easy chicken kebab recipe with chili lime marinade.
I can prepare the flavorful chili limne chicken marinade either the night before, or it only takes minutes to whisk together in the morning. Once I’m home, I can toss the cubed chicken into the marinade, enjoy a glass of wine, then light that grill and dinner is ready in about 10 minutes.
The combination of ancho chile powder, lime juice, orange juice and canned chipotle peppers bring a bright and lively flavor to the chicken. Not to mention a little sass in the form of latin spice.
One of my favorite Summer chicken kebab recipes, let’s take a look.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- 3 – 4 limes. Two for juicing and one to slice and grill alongside the kebabs
- Canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
- Chicken Breast: boneless, skinless
- Orange Juice
- Lime Juice
- Chile or Chili Powder
- Vegetable Oil
Ingredient Swaps or Substitutions
- Chicken: Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
- Orange Juice: Pineapple juice is a good substitution for orange juice, plus, it’s a great tenderizer for any meat.
- Chile Powder: Use what ever you have on hand. Ancho chile powder is popular choice due to its medium head factor. New Mexico Chile Powder, Chimayo Chile Powder for example, is usually higher on the heat index scale and beautiful with earthy chile powder flavor. You can also use chili powder (with an i) which is a blend of spices readily sold in grocery stores. The kind you buy to season your chili soup.
- Garlic: This recipe calls for three cloves of garlic, chopped. You can substitute 1/2 – 1 teaspoon garlic powder, depending on how garlicky you want the flavor. The garlic powder I buy is pretty strong, so I’d stick with the 1/2 teaspoon.
How To Make This Easy Chicken Kebab Recipe
- Step 1: Cut the chicken breast meat in about 1 1/2 inch chunks. Place them in a shallow bowl or pan.
Step 2: Whisk together the marinade ingredients
Step 3: Pour the marinade over the cubed chicken breast. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Step 4: Thread the marinated chicken breast onto skewers. Use metal skewers or wooden skewers. If using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for at least an hour so they don’t burn on the grill.
Step 5: You’re ready to grill. Place the chicken kebab skewers on an oiled preheated grill. Cook for about 4 – 5 minutes per side.
Tips and FAQ’s
Whether using white chicken breast meat or dark meat from the thigh, it’s important to not cut the chicken into chunks that are too small. They will dry out quickly on the grill. Larger chunks of 1 to 1½ inches are ideal.
A marinade containing a high oil content will not only flavor the chicken, it will also help keep the chicken from drying out on the grill.
I like to use separate skewers for meats and vegetables. For meat I keep the pieces very close to each other with a only a small space between for a bit of circulation. For vegetable skewers, I simply make sure the chunks are of equal size. For me, separating the meats from the veggies insures easier control of cooking times. Then the meat and vegetables can be removed from the skewers and combined on a large plate for serving.
You can cut up the chicken and mix the marinade ingredients, but don’t marinate the chicken for any longer than an hour. The acid in both the lime juice and orange juice will compromise the texture of the chicken by “cooking” it. It will become tough.
These chicken skewers are very versatile and can be cooked on either an out-door grill or indoor grill. Or even in the oven. To use an indoor stove top grill pan, just brush the pan with oil and heat the pan over medium high heat until hot. Add the chicken skewers and cook 5 – 7 minutes per side. If using an oven, the broiler is the way to go. Place chicken kebab skewers on a sheet pan. Place under broiler using the 2nd rack down. Watch them close and broil them about 5 minutes per side.
Cut up the chicken in equal sized pieces to insure even grilling.
Ancho Chile Lime Chicken Kebabs, Easy Chicken Kebab Recipe
These grilled chicken kabobs are a great way to bring a delicious and easy entree to your Summer dinner table.
I hope you give this easy chicken kebab recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and leave a message about your experience with the recipe and leave a star rating. And if you have a favorite chicken kebab recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
What to serve with chicken kebabs? How about a simple green salad, Mexican Corn Salad with Citrus Aioli, or Purple Roasted Potatoes with Thyme and Green Chile.
More Grilled Chicken Recipes
- Ginger Lime Aioli Grilled Chicken Cutlets
- The Best Grilled Whole Chicken
- Maple Glazed Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- Black Pepper Grilled Chicken Wings
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Ancho Chile Lime Easy Chicken Kebab Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts skinless and boneless, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup orange juice Fresh squeezed
- 1/4 cup lime juice Fresh squeezed
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or New Mexico Chile Powder, or Chili Powder
- 3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce seeds removed, fine diced
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Grilled lime halves for garnish and to squeeze over meal for additional flavor
- Place the chicken pieces in a large shallow bowl or baking dish.
- Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, chile powder, chopped chipotle peppers in Adobo, adobo sauce and garlic. Pour over the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator 1 hour.
- Heat a grill to 500 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and skewer. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper. Turn the grill temperature down to 350 degrees and place the chicken on the hot grates.
- Cook until each side is golden brown and slightly charred. About 4 – 5 minutes per side. Close the grill lid and let cook through. About 1 – 2 minutes.
- Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, place limes cut side down onto grill. Cook until grill marks appear on the flesh. About 1 – 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skewers and serve garnished with grilled lime wedges.
Easy Chicken Kebab Recipe .. It’s what’s for Dinner.