Grilled Chicken Kabobs with lemon marinated chicken and tender, colorful vegetables make the perfect sit-on-the-deck summer meal.
Grilled Chicken Kebob Ingredients
Chicken Thighs – like many of my chicken recipes, you could absolutely use chicken breasts for this recipe if that’s your preference. I choose thighs for this recipe because the love the way they pick up those smoky flavors that grilling provides. I also think that they remain a lot more moist.
Red Bell Peppers – we eat with our eyes first! Red peppers not only add a luscious sweetness to this dish, they add a gorgeous pop of color
Orange Bell Peppers – same as above. Orange bell peppers are sweet like the red bell peppers and their sunny disposition doesn’t hurt ;)
Onions – my preference is white or yellow onions for this recipe. They both tend to be sweet and mild, though white onions are the mildest and have a nice clean flavor.
Marinade – though not entirely necessary, my simple lemon marinade adds another layer of flavor to this dish. But don’t worry, there’s no need to marinate overnight. Thirty minutes is enough time for the marinade to add a nice bright, lemon flavor to the chicken and veggies.
Do I Have To Marinate Chicken Kebobs?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is, you really should try to find the extra 30 minutes for this process.
Really, there’s no need to marinate the chicken or vegetables for more than 30 minutes. The truth is that these flavors will never get to the center of the foods. The purpose is to introduce the flavors in the marinade to the heat of the grill first. As the chicken and the vegetables cook on the grill, the flavors from at the marinade will continue to develop.
So, no you really don’t have to marinate the chicken or veggies for the kebobs. But when it only takes 30 minutes – 30 hands-off minutes – why wouldn’t you give it a try?
Preparing The Grill
Fill a chimney starter with charcoal and light according the manufacture’s instructions. (Please don’t use starter fluid. This will leave a nasty chemical taste on your food.) You’ll know the coals are ready when the edges turn grey and ashy.
Pour the charcoal evenly over charcoal grate and put the cooking grate in place. Clean and oil the cooking grate.
If you’re using a gas grill, set the heat to medium-high heat. Preheat the grill for 5 minutes and then oil and clean the cooking grates.
How To Make Grilled Chicken Kebobs
The most important tip that I can give you is to make sure that all of the ingredients that you’ll be threading onto the skewers are roughly the same size. This is important because if they’re not, some of them will burn while other will not cook through. I like to cut all of my pieces to about 1-inch. Any bigger and I feel like the skewers get a little unwieldy and the cooking time gets out of hand.
The second tip is to make sure you soak your skewers. This only applies to the wooden type of skewers. If you’re using metal skewers, this is totally unnecessary and would be pretty silly. Soaking wooden skewers helps to prevent them from burning and negating the purpose of putting the food on them in the first place. I like to put mine in enough water to cover them right after I pour the marinade over the chicken and the vegetables. The 30 minutes that they’re sitting in the marinade is enough time for the skewers to become hydrated.
Which brings us to the marinade. The marinade for this recipe is based on a standard marinade which includes oil, acid, and seasoning. I use olive oil, lemon juice (I really love lemon and chicken together), salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley. You could try cilantro or dill in place of the parsley or add a little red pepper flakes if you like a little spice. As I mentioned above, you don’t have to marinate the chicken and vegetables, but I find that the flavors that are developed during cooking are worth the 30 minutes of marinating.
When threading the ingredients onto the pre-soaked skewers, don’t pack them together. Let them breathe a little. This will allow the heat to wrap around each of the pieces cooking them perfectly and evenly.
Once the coals or the gas grill are ready, place the chicken kebobs on the grates. Cook until there’s a nice even browning on all of the pieces and the chicken is cooked through. I baste the kebobs about every 5 minutes and then turn them over half way through the cooking time. On my grill, which is a Weber charcoal grill, it takes about 13 – 15 minutes for the skewers to cook through. This time may vary based upon your grill so make sure to keep an eye on them. Nothing spoils a gorgeous summer evening quicker than burnt chicken kebobs.Print
Grilled Chicken Kebobs with lemon marinated chicken and tender, colorful vegetables make the perfect sit-on-the-deck summer meal.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 small white or yellow onions quartered, about 4 ounces each
- In a medium bowl combine the oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Place the chicken to a medium bowl and pour 1/3 of the marinade over. Stir to coat.
- Combine the bell peppers and onions in another medium bowl. Pour another 1/3 of the marinade over the vegetables and stir to coat.
- Reserve the last third of the marinade to baste the kebobs during grilling.
- Allow the chicken and vegetables to marinate for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken and vegetables are marinating, place the wooden skewers in enough water to completely cover them and allow to soak for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the grill for direct cooking and heat to medium-high heat. For charcoal grilling, fill a chimney starter with charcoal and light. Once the coals are ready, pour them evenly over the charcoal grate. Set the cooking grate over the coals. For a gas grill, set the burners to medium-high heat. Preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the cooking grate once the grill has preheated.
- Thread the chicken and vegetables, alternating, on the skewers.
- Place the kebobs on the grill and cook until chicken and vegetables are nicely browned and the chicken is cooked through, about 13 – 15 minutes. Basting the kebobs with the reserved marinade every 5 minutes and turning them half way through the cooking time.