The Best Grilled Chicken Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Kabobs
Chipotle Chicken Kabobs
A southwestern take on a summertime classic.
All across the nation, the weather is heating up. The days are getting longer, which of course means that it’s getting to be time to fire up the Big Green Egg and have friends and family over. Kabobs are fast and fun to make, delicious, and easy to share. The Bearded Butchers would like to share one of our favorite ways to make kabobs for our family and friends and hopefully inspire you to try some new flavors this summer.
Before you fire your grill up, you can get your kabobs all ready. In fact, you can cut up your protein and veggies the day before and have everything ready to go for your get together.
We have some some key tips you can follow that will help your kabobs come out amazing.
Selecting Your Meat
Almost any type of protein can be used to make the best kabobs. The key to a great kabob is cutting the meat up evenly. Smaller, bite-sized pieces are best. Chicken makes for a great choice. It is lean, cuts easily, and cooks quickly. But don’t be afraid to try new things. Lamb is frequently used in kabobs, along with beef and wild game. And trust us, even people who don’t like seafood will love shrimp kabobs. Fish, however, is a poor choice because it flakes off the skewers easily.
Today, we are making kabobs using chicken. We also have some jumbo shrimp that a friend brought over, so we are going to mix that right in too. As for the chicken, we used whole boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into about one to two inch chunks. We marinated our chicken in the refrigerator overnight using the Bearded Butcher Blend Chipotle Seasoning.
Chipotle is a southwestern chile that is roasted fresh, then ground. The roasting brings out a smoky, sweet flavor with just enough heat to let you know it’s there. The Bearded Butchers Blend uses the very best chiles, combined with other natural seasonings that add dimension and flavor to any meal.
Veggies Add Texture and Flavor to Your Kabobs
When it comes to a great kabob, the vegetables are often the best part. There is just something about the fire-kissed flavor and texture that grilled veggies get.
Picking which vegetables to use often comes down to the type of protein you are using. Some veggies are universally good, though. A few crowd favorites around our kitchen are mushrooms, onions, and pineapple (we know that one isn't a vegetable!). We also love to pop a few cherry tomatoes on there, especially when they are bursting off the tomato bushes in summertime.
Just like with your protein, you will want your veggies bite-sized. We usually cut white onions into halves, then quarters for skewering. White mushrooms are best left whole, and so are cherry tomatoes. Pineapple is best fresh and cut into chunks, but you can also use canned pineapple in a pinch. Go with the rings rather than the chunks to make skewering easier.
Don’t be intimidated by thinking there are rules, here. We like to mix it up, sometimes adding in a couple red onions, some green peppers, or even okra.
Skewers are available in your local store or online. There are basically two types, disposable ones made from bamboo and reusable ones made from stainless steel. I’ll admit that I like the stainless steel ones on principle, but bamboo skewers give a unique flavor to your kabobs that metal can’t.
If you are using bamboo skewers, you need to soak them in clean, filtered water for at least a few hours. We usually toss them in a bowl overnight to let them soak up as much moisture as possible. You want the skewers wet to keep them from burning on the grill. Wetting them will also let the skewers participate in the cooking process by steaming your skewered snacks from the inside out.
Assembling Your Kabobs
This is where the fun starts. We like to have all of the veggies and protein ready to go beforehand. When it is time to start assembling kabobs, the whole family gets in on the action. This is a great way to get your children involved in the cooking process, and having them help will encourage them to eat healthy while providing experience and confidence. We love seeing kid's eyes light up eating a kabob they helped make. It’s a thing of beauty.
There isn’t any order to assemble the perfect kabob. Alternate protein, veggie, veggie, protein, or stick all the protein on skewers and all the veggies separate, it’s up to you. We prefer to alternate, which lets the unique flavors of the veggies meld into the meat.
Grilling Tips and Tricks
You will want to get your grill good and hot before putting your kabobs on. Kabobs will cook quickly. This isn’t a toss it on and forget it meal. A set of good-quality tongs is essential to preventing your skewers from falling apart. You will basically sear the kabob, then flip it over until the protein is cooked completely. For chicken, this is just a couple minutes. Shrimp are even faster. Beef will take a little longer, so you should plan your veggies accordingly.
We also like to add in a little of our signature Bearded Butchers BBQ sauce. The sauce keeps the chicken moist on the grill and really punches up the smoky flavor of the chipotle chiles.
The Secret to the Best Kabobs in Town
The best tip you can follow to get the best out of your kabob experience is to use the highest-quality seasonings and spices you can get. The Bearded Butchers makes it easy. Our spice blends are preservative-free, all natural, and simply amazing. Don’t underestimate the importance of really good spices.
The best thing about kabobs is sharing them. There is a community experience making and eating kabobs that is rare in the cooking world. This is one of those few meals everyone can participate in and enjoy. Kabobs are the perfect summertime meal to bring friends and family together. The savory, smoky aromas are likely to attract some of your neighbors, too, and kabobs are a great way to get to know your community.
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