Braided Lemon Pepper Chicken Skewers

I love chicken!  It is the perfect blank canvas for any flavor.  One of my favorite flavors to impart on chicken is lemon pepper. A little tart with a little bite.  The perfect combination.  Lately, I have come up with a new way to skewer chicken that gives you an added oomph of flavor.  It works with any sauce and works especially well with marinades.  The chicken is thinly sliced and then braided onto a skewer.  That way you have little nooks and crevices that allow the sauce and marinade to pool.  Then when you eat the chicken you get flavor bursts that enhance the experience.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Braided Lemon Pepper Chicken

Thinly slice 1 lb of chicken and then cut the chicken into about 1 inch wide strips.

Slice the chicken into 1 inch strips

I like to buy the chicken thinly sliced. If you can not find thinly sliced chicken, partially freeze chicken breasts for about 30 minutes and then thinly slice them.

Perdue Thin Sliced Breasts

Mix together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, salt and garlic in a 1 gallon zip top bag.

Zest the lemon

Add the thinly sliced chicken to the bag and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Marinate the chicken

While the chicken marinates, soak the wooden skewers in water to prevent burning.

Soak the Skewers

In addition to soaking the skewers I am going to be trying out Steven Raichlen’s Skewer Shield.  Basically it is a piece of metal that shields the ends of the skewer so that they do not get burned by the flames.

Skewer Shield

A cool feature of this shields is that it has a raised serrated edge that holds the skewers in place.  No more worrying about turning your skewers and having them continue turning and not cooking on the intended side.

Skewer Shield Serrated Edge

During this time I would also preheat your grill for two zone grilling. One side hot and the other side cool. That way you can grill the chicken directly over heat while keeping the side where the skewer handles will be, cooler.  If you don’t have a skewer shield it is fine but if you have one you will have a little more control.  Also if you want a similar result you can place a sheet of aluminum foil under the skewers.  However, the serrated edge of the skewer shield allows you to have total control over the cooking.  I am a huge fan.

After the chicken has properly marinated, remove it from the refrigerator and it is time to create the skewers.

The braided chicken

Take two of the strips of chicken and skewer one end of the chicken strips. Then alternating the chicken, skewer the chicken further up on the strip. Continue alternating the pieces until you get a fully braided skewer.  I found that each skewer can handle two separate braids of chicken.

A pile of skewered chicken

Place the chicken on the grill over the high heat and cook.

Time to grill the skewers

Rotate the chicken 1/4 turn every 3-5 minutes. Cook until the chicken is nicely browned and cooked to a 165 degree internal temperature.

Perfectly cooked

Serve with your favorite side and/or over rice.

Mmm Lemon Pepper Chicken

Braided Lemon Pepper Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Outdoor Grilling
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A slightly tart and bold marinade that gives each bite of chicken a pop!
Ingredients
  • Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb chicken breasts thinly sliced and then cut into strips
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice 1 lb of chicken and then cut the chicken into about 1 inch wide strips.
  2. I like to buy the chicken thinly sliced. If you can not find thinly sliced chicken, partially freeze chicken breasts for about 30 minutes and then thinly slice them.
  3. Mix together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, salt and garlic in a 1 gallon zip top bag. Add the thinly sliced chicken to the bag and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. While the chicken marinates soak the wooden skewers in water to prevent burning.
  5. Also Preheat your grill for two zone grilling. One side hot and the other side cool. That way you can grill the chicken directly over heat while keeping the side where the skewer handles will be, cooler.
  6. After the chicken has properly marinated, remove it from the refrigerator and it is time to create the skewers.
  7. Take two of the strips of chicken and skewer one end of the chicken strips. Then alternating the chicken, skewer the chicken further up on the strip. Continue alternating the pieces until you get a braided skewer.
  8. Place the chicken on the grill over the high heat and cook. Rotate the chicken ¼ turn every 3-5 minutes. Cook until the chicken is nicely browned and cooked to a 165 degree internal temperature.
  9. Serve with your favorite side and/or over rice.
This chicken was fabulous!  It was slightly tart from the lemon, with a little bite from the pepper.  A perfect meal.  Plus, the braided chicken created crevices that held in the flavor.  I will only be making braided chicken now, at least when I make skewers.

The skewer shield worked perfectly.  At first I was like, I can use just a piece of foil.  However, this thing was heavy and did not move.  Plus, the serrated edge held the skewers in place.  It was freaking awesome!  Usually when I grill skewers you have a few of them that just won’t sit and cook on a certain side.  This tool holds the skewers in place and doesn’t let them move around, allowing you to completely cook your skewers to perfection.

Skewer Shield

Also not a single one of the skewers burned.  I have to give a ton of credit to Steven Raichlen for this one.  It is one the best grilling tools that I own now.

It is noted that I purchased the skewer shield and did not get for free and was not paid to do a review.  I just really like it and wanted to share my love of it with my readers.

If you are interested in purchasing one you can pick up a Steven Raichlen Best of Barbecue Stainless Grill Shield for Skewers you can find them at Amazon.

About Author

Rex

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

2 Comments

  1. My sister got me one of those shields a few years ago and I don’t use it as often as I should. It has held up well to use.

    Great idea on the braiding, I’ll have to try that.