Not only are these lemon and garlic chicken kebabs a cinch to make, they’re even easier to serve. The ever-enticing aromas of lemon, garlic, oregano, and grilled chicken will lure everyone to the table so you don’t have to.
It’s still astonishing to me just how much flavor you can squeeze out of one lemon. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) This marinade looks too easy but, while ease is never a bad thing in my books, it really delivers on taste too. I like to make up these skewers and stash them in the freezer. The marinade does its work both while the chicken freezes and again when it thaws, and having the meat already skewered makes life for future me so much easier.–Claire Tansey
Lemon and Garlic Chicken Kebabs
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the lemon zest in long pieces, and drop them into a large freezer bag or container. Add the lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt and stir to mix.
☞TESTER TIP: Want to amp up that oregano flavor? Crush the dried leaves with your fingers before adding them to the bag.
- Cut the chicken into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes and add to the marinade. Gently massage or toss the chicken pieces to evenly coat. Close up the bag or container and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or for up to 2 hours in the fridge.
- If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while the chicken marinates.
- Preheat the grill to high.
- Thread 5 cubes of chicken on each metal or presoaked wooden skewer, nestling them quite close to each other.
- Oil the grill very well, then add the skewers. Grill with the lid closed for 2 minutes, then flip the skewers, close the lid again and grill 2 minutes more.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to grill until cooked through and springy to the touch, 6 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the skewers from the grill and drizzle with olive oil. Devour immediately.
Can I make these Lemon and Garlic Chicken Kebabs ahead of time?Yes, you can! If you’d like to have an easy meal in the freezer, you can assemble the chicken skewers, add them to the marinade, and freeze them directly in the container or resealable plastic bag, ready to be grilled. Note that if using a plastic bag, you’ll want to use wooden skewers and trim the ends after assembling so you don’t puncture the bag.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
You had me at kebab. There is something gratifyingly carnivorous about breaking down meat, piercing it with a sharp object, and cooking it over an open flame. My inner cavewoman was happy, while at the same time my more refined palate was equally as delighted.
This recipe for lemon and garlic chicken kebabs had a beautiful balance of flavors. The earthiness of the oregano blooms as it is grilled. The bright lemon shines through in every bite. I actually grabbed an extra lemon, halved it and threw it on the grill with my chicken. Then, I served my skewers over a bed of mixed greens. I drizzled the plate with olive oil, a squeeze of charred lemon, salt, and pepper. I even shaved some parmesan over the top. It made for a gorgeous, healthy, delectable twist on grilled chicken salad using these little flavor bombs on a kebab. This one is a keeper!
I loved the flavor combination of lemon and garlic chicken kebabs! I am not a seasoned griller, but the directions were very clear and guided me through the process. This grilling recipe gave me confidence! I used a thermometer once I thought the chicken was “springy” at 7 minutes and ended up adding another 2 minutes to the cook time. I noticed the chicken pieces in the middle of the skewer took longer to cook compared to the outermost pieces, so I recommend testing the middle chicken pieces when deciding whether the chicken skewer is fully cooked. I added the chicken to a Greek salad I made as a side, and that was the best decision I made. The chicken needed a little extra flavor and dressing to round it out.
Originally published April 11, 2021