These Grilled Chicken Kabobs make a delicious and easy dinner any night of the week. Chicken breast has been seasoned with jerk seasoning and threaded with fresh pineapple for a perfectly sweet and spicy Chicken Kabob recipe.
A few years ago, my husband and I took a trip together to Jamaica.
One of the days that we were at our tropical paradise, a nasty storm tried to rain on our parade.
I just decided it was the perfect time to take a cooking class from an Jamaican Chef AND take a snooze that afternoon–I mean, I still had toddlers at home so a I was taking advantage of a few times without them!
This chef demonstrated the recipe for his Jerk marinade and I knew I had to tuck that recipe into my suitcase and experiment with it at home–it was perfection.
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Grilled Chicken Kabobs have a reputation of being boring or dried out.
But my recipe for Chicken Kabobs is ANYTHING but boring.
Chicken is brought to life with the jerk seasoning marinade I learned to make from an authentic Jamaican Chef.
How to Make Jerk Marinade
My chef and trainer for that rainy afternoon in paradise, taught me that the best technique for Jerk Chicken was to throw fresh ingredients into the blender and create a thick paste to serve as the marinade.
I decided that after 30 years of cooking in Jamaica, this guy knew a thing or two and I should most certainly take his advice!!
Ingredients for Jerk Marinade
- Habanero Peppers
- You can replace the habenaro pepper with a jalapeno pepper for a milder jerk seasoning.
- Maple Syrup
- You need a bit of sweetness to balance the flavors.
- Feel free to use honey, agave, or brown sugar in place of the maple syrup.
- Granulated sugar is not a good option for this recipe.
- To keep this Jerk Seasoning, Paleo, use coconut oil or avocado oil in the marinade. If you aren’t paleo, feel free to use canola oil.
- Lime Juice
- Be sure to use FRESH limes
- Use peeled fresh ginger root.
- If you have leftover ginger, peel it and pop it in a freezer safe bag in the freezer and pull out to grate from frozen ginger. See my tips on how to freeze ginger and more here.
How to Make Authentic Jerk Marinade
- Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until fully processed.
- Instead of a blender, you can use a food processor to puree this jerk marinade recipe.
Use this Jerk Marinade on Chicken, Fish, Meat, or Vegetables.
How to Make Chicken Kabobs
Step One: Marinate Chicken
- Cube up chicken breast or chicken thighs into 1 inch cubes.
- Place in gallon sized storage bag and pour jerk marinade over chicken.
- Toss chicken in marinade.
- Leave in marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Do not leave in marinade longer than 4 hours or the acid will break the meat down.
Step Two: Soak Wooden Kabob Skewers
- It is really important to soak your skewers for at least 30 Minutes so that you skewers will not burn when grilling.
- Alternatively, you can use metal skewers.
Step Three: Prepare Chicken Kabobs
- Thread marinated chicken and pineapple on wooden skewers in an alternating pattern.
Step Four: Grill Chicken Kabobs
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place chicken kabobs on grill and cook for about 12 minutes total, turning every 3-4 minutes.
No go ahead, transport yourself to the Islands and experience a bit of No Worries, as they say in Jamaica, as you dig into this easy dinner.
You make like to serve Chicken Kabobs with:
Grilled Jerk Chicken Kabobs with Pineapple
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil or canola oil if not paleo
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 habaneros or jalapeno peppers cut into large chunks, unseeded (for more authentic jerk--use habeneros--I just happened to have jalapenos)
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey or agave
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon dried allspice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" chunks
- 1/2 fresh pineapple peeled, cored and diced into 1" wedges
- 4 metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water or 30 minutes.
- Blend together everything but the chicken and the pineapple, until smooth.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
- Heat grill or charcoal to medium-high temperature.
- Thread the chicken unto skewer, alternating with pieces of fresh pineapple.
- Grill chicken for 6 minutes per side.