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Lemon-Fennel Chicken Skewers

A soft and gentle rain, almost sweet, fell yesterday as I readied the grill. I was determined to make this dinner, even in a downpour, and this was definitely not that. No rain gear required. Skewers provide for a very fast dinner on the grill (if you’ve got a reason to be in a hurry.) But I was enjoying being called outside into this light sprinkling and I almost wished dinner had taken longer. The air smelled like sheets hung out to dry; a muted hush had fallen; tiny raindrops sizzled as they hit the grill; all the colors saturated, and a little shimmer lit up everything that lived. I was only out there for a short time, but it was a joy, simple, quiet and held onto lightly.

(Oh. I should say something about the dinner! Just plain yummy. And it didn’t last long either!)

Lemon-Fennel Chicken Skewers

(Serves 6 )

  • 1 Tbl. fennel seeds
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 t. salt
  • 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 lemons, halves lengthwise and cut into 1/8″ half-moons

In a small pan over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds, shaking the pan frequently, until they’re fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove them from the pan and allow to cool. With a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder, finely grind the seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together the fennel seed, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, olive oil and salt. (I tasted it at this point and thought, how wonderful! I want this on a salad!) Put the cut-up chicken into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Soak wooden skewers for twenty minutes before needed. Thread 1 or 2 pieces of chicken and 1 folded lemon slice onto the skewer, followed by 2 pieces of chicken, 1 folded lemon slice, and 1 more piece chicken. Repeat to make remaining skewers.

Prepare your grill to medium-high heat. Arrange the skewers on the grill; cook, turning twice to grill-mark on all sides, about 8 minutes for breast meat and 10 minutes for thigh meat. Transfer skewers to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

(I found this recipe in a Williams-Sonoma catalog several months back.)

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For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ashley #

    Wow, Mama Spree. What a meal you’ve created here. And still along the wonderful citrus theme. Maybe an all things citrus cook book in the making? Beautiful photos, worthy of any lovely cookbook. Truly.

    May 15, 2011
  2. Ali #

    This one will definitely be on the menu this week!!
    Looks simple and delicious-just what I need in this season of life!

    May 22, 2011
  3. Oh I agree with Ali! I so want to try this very soon… I hope chicken breasts go on sale this week. 🙂

    May 24, 2011

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