As the weather warms, we can’t help but dream about of all of the outdoor gatherings waiting for us in the very near future: cookouts, picnics, front porch cocktails, pool parties…
For each of these occasions, there are strategies for hosting and cooking that help to relieve some pressure, and allow for efficient use of time while putting up great food to feed a crowd. For your first BBQ of the spring season, this recipe for chicken skewers hits that sweet spot: the ingredients list is short, the method is straightforward (basically: marinate and grill), and the flavors are bold and fresh.
The night before the gathering, whip up the garlicky, citrus-spiked marinade, and then batch grill the skewers when company arrives. The Greek yogurt in the marinade tenderizes the meat, so there’s no need to worry about tough, dry chicken, and the thinly sliced tenderloins grill up quickly and uniformly, which means less time standing over the grill, and more time enjoying time with your guests.
Yogurt-Cilantro Marinated Chicken Skewers
Recipe by Penelope Rose
Adapted from Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story
Total Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 3 pounds chicken tenderloins
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (TIP: Fage brand preferred)
- Juice from 2 lemons (about ⅓ -½ cup)
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
The evening before the party, make marinade by mixing together all ingredients in a medium-large bowl. Taste before adding the chicken, and add more salt and pepper (or more of any other ingredient) if needed. If it’s good, add the chicken and mix until all sides of the chicken are coated with marinade. Lay chicken in a 9×13 pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.
On the day of the party, soak wooden skewers about 2 hours before guests are scheduled to arrive. About 30 minutes before party time, skewer all chicken and return to the 9×13 pan. Depending on preference, either turn on the grill and start grilling 15-20 minutes before guests arrive, so chicken is ready, or wait until everyone arrives and enjoys a cocktail before grilling.
If opting to have the grilling done before guests arrive, skewers should take about 15 minutes. Ensure they are cooked through, then move to aluminum foil and wrap tightly. If possible, store in a hot bag. If not, wrap aluminum foil-covered skewers in a couple of kitchen towels.
Photo by Nicholas Gang