Grilled Cilantro Chicken Skewers - Milwaukee North Shore Moms







Makes 6 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup orzo

11/2 cups long-grain white rice

21/2 cups water

Kosher salt


2 cups basil leaves

3/4 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 small shallot, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chicken Skewers

11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 11/2- to 2-inch pieces

2 large zucchini, sliced into 3/4-inch-thick half-moons

18 ounces cherry tomatoes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for oiling the grates


Fresh cilantro and lime perk up the pesto-inspired marinade used to baste these chicken skewers. To get the end result good and saucy, half goes on before the skewers are cooked, then more is brushed on just before they come off the grill. The buttery pilaf served on the side is a nice complement to the charred chicken and veggies, and it’s one of my go-to sides all summer long. For best results, soak twelve 9- or 10-inch bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before assembling the kebabs.

  1. To make the pilaf, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and sauté, stirring frequently, until it begins to turn color slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and sauté until the orzo is deep golden. Add the water, season with a few pinches of salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, make the marinade. Combine the basil, cilantro, oil, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, shallot, salt, and black pepper in a food processor and pulse to finely chop the herbs, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside half the marinade in a small bowl.
  3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.

4. To prepare the skewers, thread the chicken, zucchini, and tomatoes in an alternating pattern onto each skewer, then place the finished kebabs on a baking sheet. Brush them on all sides with the half portion of marinade still in the food processor. Season with salt and pepper.

For more tomato recipes from Joy Howard, her book, Tomato Love is available at bookstores and on Amazon.

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