I’m going on my sixth week without a kitchen. I miss my kitchen!
The company doing our remodel started the demolition March 10th. All of our dishes, silverware, small utilities, cooking supplies and pantry items were re-located to our downstairs family room. I was prepared for the chaos and was committed to still feed my family homecooked meals. I set up a mock kitchen in our family room with two large tables – one to eat and the other to prepare food. The remodeling crew moved all of our large appliances to the garage, which was directly off the family room. Inside I had our microwave, toaster, toaster oven and panini maker all set up and ready to go. It’s wasn’t a full kitchen, but I felt pretty confident we’d be ok using what we had.
Using the mock kitchen took some getting used to. After the first week, though, the family was in a groove. We each created our own way of assembling food and no one was complaining. I was happy.
After the fourth week, I could tell the kids were getting sick of sandwiches, toaster oven pizza, eggs and tacos. I was, too. We were using our grill, but not nearly enough. It was time for me to get more creative with grilled meals!
Grilling Makes Cooking Easy
People commonly use their grill to cook burgers, hot dogs and chicken. But, you can also use it to cook fish, vegetables, corn on the cob and a wide variety of other foods. The options are really endless.
Once I recognized the family needed more variety, I made a list of easy dinner ideas that I could cook on the grill. Chicken kabobs were the first thing that came to mind.
I wrote a post a few years back on proper food handling when grilling. It reviews some of the safely information to consider, like cleaning your grill, avoiding cross-contamination and using a food thermometer. If you plan on using your grill, be sure to check it out.
How To Make Simple Jerk Chicken Kabobs
These jerk chicken kabobs are super simple to assemble, and get cooked on the grill. They do require some prep work though, and they should marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooing. Once they hit the grill, they only take 10-12 minute to cook. I suggest using the time they take to marinade to prepare any other foods you plan to serve with them.
Step #1 – Jerk Seasoning Marinade
You can use your favorite store bought, dry jerk seasoning blend if you want, or you can make a flavorful homemade one from scratch. I prefer to make my own blend. It’s a combination of 9 different seasonings mixed with a few teaspoons of sugar. If you’re interested, you can make my homemade jerk seasoning in advance. It’s great to have on hand because you can use it for other recipes, too. Plus, it’s a great way to clean out your spice rack if you haven’t done so in a while. That post also shares how long spices last and some other ways to use up older spices.
The dry jerk seasoning blend gets combined with a few other ingredients to create a wet marinade for the chicken. That helps the chicken stay moist while it’s cooking on the grill.
Simply combine the dry jerk seasoning with lemon juice and olive oil. My homemade jerk spice blend has a small amount of sugar, but I also add an additional tablespoons to balance out the spices. If you use my dry seasoning blend recipe, you don’t necessarily need the extra tablespoon of sugar; I do recommend it though. That small amount does a lot to even the flavors, and only contributes one gram of sugar per kabob.
Once all ingredients are in a bowl, use a whisk to combine the ingredients. Set that aside until the chicken is cut and ready to marinade.
Step #2 – Clean And Prepare The Chicken For Marinating
This recipe uses 6 large boneless, skinless chicken breast. Each breast was about 5.5 ounces. That’s important if you are using the nutritional information I provide. If you don’t want to make that much, you can split the recipe in half and only use ~16-17 ounces of chicken. Just be sure to use half of the other ingredients, as well.
Defrost the chicken in advance, then trim all visible fat. Use a clean cutting board to cut each breast into large pieces, slightly larger than bite-size.
Once the chicken is cut, put the pieces into a large plastic bag. You can also use a large, deep bowl or other container. Stir the marinade to combine any spices that settled on the bottom, then pour it into the plastic bag or container, over the chicken. Seal the bag tightly, then massage the bag so that the marinade is evenly distributed over the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinade in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Step #3 – Make The Kabobs
Once marinated, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and put 6-7 chunks of cut chicken on the skewer. I used wooden skewers for this recipe, but you can also use metal or stainless steel. One all of the chicken is on the skewers, brush each one with the marinade that is left in the plastic bag or container.
Step #4 – Grill the Jerk Chicken
Place each kabob directly on a hot grill. The total cook time is ~10-12 minutes, depending on how large you cut the chunks. After ~ 5-6 minutes, flip each kabob so that they cook all the way through without burning. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Be sure not to overcook or else the chicken will be dry. When cooked right, these kabobs are nicely seared on the outside but still moist and juicy on the inside.
Calories And Nutrition Information
These jerk chicken kabobs are an excellent source of lean protein and are low in calories. The recipe I’m sharing here makes 8 kabobs, or 8 servings. Each kabob has 170 calories, 1 gram of total carbohydrate, 1 gram of sugar, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 26 grams of protein and only 50 milligrams of sodium. Each one also provide 8% of the daily value for potassium and you get a variety of phytonutrients from the spices. I share more of the nutrition facts on the recipe card.
Ways To Eat Jerk Chicken Kabobs
There are loads of ways to enjoy these simple jerk chicken kabobs. They pair great with rice, pineapple or a mango salsa. For a Jamaican style meal, serve them with coconut rice or plantains. You can also serve with your favorite vegetables, like roasted carrots or Brussels sprouts or with a side of roasted potatoes or a sweet potato. I always make extras and add the chicken to a salad for a quick lunch throughout the week.
If you try them, leave a comment below and let me know what you think. If you like this simple recipe, you might also like chicken kabobs with lime cilantro vinaigrette marinade or jerk chicken tacos with citrus slaw.
Simple Jerk Chicken Kabobs
- 32 ounces raw, boneless, skinless chicken breast (~6 large (5.5 ounce) breasts
- 2 Tbsp dry jerk seasoning blend
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Make the marinade by combining the dry jerk seasoning blend with the lemon juice, olive oil and sugar in a bowl. Use a whisk to stir well, then set aside.
- Trim all visible fat from the chicken breast, then cut into pieces that are slightly larger than bite sized. Transfer the chicken pieces to a large plastic bag or bowl.
- Stir the marinade again to combine any spices that settles, then pour it over the chicken. Seal the bag tightly, then massage the bag to allow each piece to get covered with the marinade. Allow that to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably longer.
- Once marinated, put 6-7 chunks of cut chicken on the skewer. Brush each skewer with more marinade, then place directly on a hot grill.
- Cook the chicken for ~10-12 minutes, flipping half way through. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Serve!
- Recipe Makes: 8 kabobs
- Serving Size: 1 kabob
- Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Nutrition Facts (per serving) : 170 calories, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 26 g protein, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 8% DV for potassium, 0% DV for vitamin D, 0% DV for iron, 0% DV for calcium.
- Meal Planning Serving Sizes: CHO, 3.5 PRO, 1 FAT
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