The accompanying recipe is the antidote to boring grilled chicken. It’s nearly as easy to make, but so much more enticing.
The key is to toss the chicken with a mix of dried spices — ginger, garlic, turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper — that turn the blank-canvas protein into something irresistibly flavorful and fragrant. No marinating time required.
The chicken would be delicious grilled just like that, but this preparation goes a step further by threading bite-size chunks onto skewers alternately with plump green grapes. Once grilled, the sugars in those grapes caramelize; the fruit takes on a deep, mellow flavor, and provides a juicy, sweet counterpoint to the savory meat.
It’s a dinner you can whip up in less than 20 minutes, or prep up to a day ahead so it is at the ready in the refrigerator when you want to cook it.
The skewers are finished with a bright squeeze of lemon juice and a fresh punch of cilantro leaves for a grilled chicken dish that is sure to elicit oohhs and ahhhs, instead of the usual ho-hums.
Spiced chicken skewers with grapes
These skewers turn basic grilled chicken breast into an irresistibly flavorful and fragrant dish. The meat is tossed with a mix of dried spices — no marinating time needed — then skewered with fresh green grapes that take on a deep, mellow flavor once grilled.
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ¾-inch cubes
1½ cups seedless green grapes
2 tablespoons canola oil or other neutral tasting oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Whisk together the ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and turmeric in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly.
Alternate the chicken and grapes as you thread them onto the skewers. (There should be about 5 pieces of chicken and 4 grapes on each skewer; you may have a few grapes left over.) Brush with the oil. Note: You’ll need to soak eight wooden/bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before using.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches as needed, cook the skewers about 6 minutes total, turning them once or twice, until grill marks have formed, the grapes have softened and the chicken is cooked through. Note: The skewers can be done on the outdoor grill, as well.
Sprinkle with the lemon juice and cilantro; serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 270 calories, 32 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 105 milligrams cholesterol, 210 milligrams sodium, 0 grams dietary fiber, 8 grams sugar.