Chicken Pinchos(Puerto Rican Skewers)!
These chicken pinchos are a perfect recipe for the grill:
One of my favorite things to grill in summer-time are shish kabobs. I mean grilled meat on a stick! On a trip with my husband to Puerto Rico, we came across these chicken pinchos, as the Puerto-Rican’s call it…myself included. In Spanish, the word pinchos means “spikes”, so appropriate for this word since the meat is literally on a spike (skewer). In Puerto Rico, you can find many vendors on the side of the road with tiny food stands that sell this staple of Puerto Rican food. You can smell the food wayyy before seeing the stand. The smell just makes you stop whatever you are doing and immediately see what is cooking on the grill. Now typically they are considered a snack or an appetizer typically served with a side of toasted bread or tostones, but when cooking in your own home, anything goes! I’ve made this particular recipe twice this summer, one as an appetizer for a smaller get-together and the other as a main dish for a party. For the party, I just added tortilla’s, pico de gallo and some sauces to make the meat go further. Not traditional, I know, but I like breaking the rules. Plus, who doesn’t love tacos!
My love for Chicken Pinchos(Puerto Rican Skewers):
Just to show my love for Chicken Pinchos and share a picture of my latest trip to Puerto Rico…Ha! now we’re having fun.
Below is a recipe that has become a staple in our home during summer grill season…
One of the things that makes this recipe so great is all the great seasoning that goes into it. This recipe calls for 4 pounds of boneless chicken, 1 Tablespoon of Adobo Seasoning, 2 packets of Sazon, 2 Teaspoons of dried Oregano, 1 Tablespoon of Avocado Oil (or olive oil), salt, pepper, 2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic, a stick of butter and 3 Teaspoon’s of white balsamic vinegar.
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and place into a large mixing bowl or glass bowl. Add Adobo, Sazon, minced garlic (just use 1 tablespoon for now), dried oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper, avocado oil, the white balsamic vinegar and mix until all the flavors are well blended with the chicken.
Marinate for at least 20 minutes, covered with plastic wrap and in the fridge. I try and marinate for 2 hours or even better overnight, but sometimes you only have twenty minutes. While the chicken is marinating make sure to soak your skewers in water if you are using wood ones.
Right before you get ready to take the chicken out of the fridge, turn on your grill to medium heat. When the chicken is done marinating, evenly distribute onto skewers. This is where you get to decide how much meat you want everyone to have. If you are serving as an appetizer, leave plenty of room for people to comfortably hold the skewer from the bottom. Also, this will mean that you can add less chicken to each skewer which will mean more skewers to go around. If you are serving as a main dish, pile as much meat on each skewer as it will hold (If you want to turn these into tacos, after the chicken is done cooking, take the chicken off the skewers and let people help themselves, usually 3 or 4 pieces per taco, 2 tacos per person).
Before you head to the grill with your chicken pinchos, don’t forget the secret sauce. Garlic + Butter! Melt a stick of butter in the microwave and add a tablespoon of minced garlic. Grab your BBQ brush and head over to the grill.
Let’s get grillin:
You will only need to grill these for 10 minutes, rotating them every 3 or 4 minutes. I always brush them right after each rotation (or in the case of the picture below my husband brushed them, so I could take the photo!). 🙂
When the chicken pinchos are done, plate the food and add any garnishes or dipping sauces you’d like. I added cilantro in the photo below.
For a quick dipping sauce, use 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of cilantro, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and 1 large jalapeño (no seeds will have quite a kick, leaving seeds will have quite a punch!) and blend in the food processor until light green and creamy consistency.