Juicy, tender grilled chicken, bursting with vibrant flavor. These Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers are a delicious fusion of South American and Asian cuisines!
Are you ready for an international culinary adventure? We’re headed to Peru today, where the cuisine is an interesting fusion of Latin American, European and Asian – little bits and pieces of each, all thrown in a big pot and swirled around to produce some incredibly delicious eats. These Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers are the perfect example!
A delicious and unique combination of flavors!
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are marinated in (what might seem to be a crazy combination) herbs, spices and a few other wonderful ingredients: garlic, cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, fresh ginger and olive oil. Half of the mixture is used for the marinade and the other half as a basting sauce while the chicken is grilling.
I like to cut up the thighs and thread the meat on skewers, but if you’re in a hurry, you could leave them whole and grill them without the skewers.
I usually serve these Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers with this Peruvian Green Sauce, although they’re perfectly delicious 0n their own too!
Expect rave reviews!
The first time I served these Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers, our son, Nick made a comment that explains how delicious they are; he said, “Wow mom, this is one of the best things you’ve ever made!”. But being a very considerate (smart and diplomatic too!) son, he added, “… and you make a lot of really good things!”. I had to laugh – but also had to agree that these Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers are wonderful.
Want something special this weekend for dinner? Got friends coming for a picnic or party sometime soon? Tired of the same-old-same-old? Pick up some chicken thighs at the market next time you shop. Check the list of marinade and Peruvian Green Sauce (optional) ingredients – you probably have most of them in the pantry or fridge, but jot down anything you’re missing. You’re in for a fabulous treat!
Someone might even say it’s, “The best thing you’ve ever made”!
Café Tips for making these Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers
- I really recommend using skinless, boneless chicken thighs for this recipe, as they don’t dry out as easily as chicken breasts do. If however, you’re a die-hard chicken breast lover, go ahead and use them for this recipe. Don’t leave the breast skewers on the grill as long and get them nice and chilled before you start grilling in order to give the exterior a chance to brown a little before the inside gets done.
- This recipe calls for smoked paprika. Just like regular paprika, smoked paprika is a made from pimiento peppers, but instead of just drying the peppers, they are also smoked over an oak fire before being ground into a fine powder. It’s delicious and worth keeping in your spice cabinet. Smoked paprika can be found in the regular spice section of most larger groceries. I often pick it up at Trader Joes. It can also be purchased online and be at your front door in two days.
- Smoked Paprika comes in two varieties, sweet and hot. If it’s not labeled, it’s usually the sweet variety. I prefer sweet paprika as the hot variety doesn’t work in all recipes. You can always add a little heat with cayenne, chili powder or crushed red pepper.
- I love metal skewers vs. wood or bamboo skewers. It seems no matter how long you soak the wood/bamboo ones, they always tend to burn on the grill, especially if you’re going for a nice char on the meat. These metal skewers are some of my favorites. They’re not too long and have a nice flat surface, making it easy to thread the meat and turn the skewers. They’re also the perfect size for serving a dinner plate.
P.S. If you make these Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers please leave a comment and let others know how they turned out. It’s so helpful to hear reviews from readers like you! Grab your phone and click a picture too – share it on Instagram with the hashtag #cafesucrefarine.
- 3 medium cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
Trim chicken of excess fat and cut into approximately 1-inch wide pieces. Set aside.
Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium-size bowl and stir to mix. Add chicken to a large zip lock bag along with half of the marinade/sauce. Reserve the remaining marinade and set aside.
Massage the bag with the chicken to evenly coat the chicken with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Heat a gas grill to medium-high or start a medium-hot charcoal grill. Thread chicken onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes, so they don't catch on fire.)
Clean grill surface and oil with spray or brush with a tongs and an oil-dipped paper towel. Place skewers on grill and cook, turning one-quarter turn every 3-4 minutes until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Brush with the remaining sauce, turning frequently until chicken is charred in spots. Exact timing will vary, depending on the temperature of your grill. Remove the chicken skewers from the grill, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
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