Chicken Skewers with Olive Pesto

Olive Pesto

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup California Black Ripe Olives or California Green Ripe Olives
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons scallions finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained and rinsed, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 lemons zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken Skewers

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar, optional
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cubed
  • 1/2 large red onion cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium bell peppers cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
  • 16 ounces mushrooms white button or cremini, stemmed

Directions

To make the olive pesto:

  • In a medium bowl, combine parsley, olives, pine nuts, oregano, basil, scallions, garlic, lemon zest and juice. Stir in olive oil until combined and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with chicken skewers or cover and refrigerate up to one week.

To make the chicken skewers:

  • Soak bamboo skewers if you have not already done so.
  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, honey or sugar (if using), salt and pepper in a jar and shake until combined. Set aside.
  • Place the cubed chicken in a zipper-top plastic bag or a large bowl. Pour marinade over the chicken and cover. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

To grill the skewers:

  • Preheat indoor or outdoor grill for direct heat on one side and indirect heat on the other side. Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade to brush on skewers before grilling. Thread chicken, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms onto metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Brush each skewer with the reserved marinade, then discard.
  • Oil grill grates and place skewers on grill. Sear the skewers on each side over direct heat, then move to the indirect heat to finish cooking (usually about 5 to 10 minutes per side). Turn skewers over as needed to avoid burning. Chicken and vegetables should be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees when tested with an internal thermometer.
  • Remove from grill and cover with foil until ready to eat. Brush with olive pesto before serving.

To bake the skewers:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  • Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade to brush on skewers before grilling. Thread chicken, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms onto metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Brush each skewer with the reserved marinade, then discard.
  • Bake the skewers about 10 to 15 minutes per side. Chicken and vegetables should be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees when tested with an internal thermometer.

Remove from oven and cover with foil until ready to eat. Brush with olive pesto before serving.

Recipe by:

Culinary Hill