Flavourful grilled chicken skewers that can be ready in 20 minutes

A spice rub livens up the bland protein and grapes which caramelise gives the dish a bright note. PHOTO: DEB LINDSEY
A spice rub livens up the bland protein and grapes which caramelise gives the dish a bright note. PHOTO: DEB LINDSEY

(WASHINGTON POST) - The accompanying recipe is the antidote to boring grilled chicken. It is nearly as easy to make, but so much more enticing.

The key is to toss the chicken with a mix of dried spices - ginger, garlic, turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper - that turn the blank-canvas protein into something irresistibly flavourful and fragrant. No marinating time required.

The chicken would be delicious grilled just like that, but this preparation goes a step further by threading bite-size chunks onto skewers alternately with plump green grapes. Once grilled, the sugars in those grapes caramelise; the fruit takes on a deep, mellow flavour, and provides a juicy, sweet counterpoint to the savoury meat.

It is a dinner you can whip up in less than 20 minutes, or prep up to a day ahead so it is at the ready in the refrigerator when you want to cook it. The skewers are finished with a bright squeeze of lemon juice and a fresh punch of cilantro leaves for a grilled chicken dish that is sure to elicit oohhs and ahhhs, instead of the usual ho-hums.

Spiced Chicken Skewers With Grapes

4 servings

You will need to soak eight wooden/bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before using.

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp granulated garlic (garlic powder)

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp ground turmeric

600g boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2cm cubes

11/2 cups seedless green grapes

2 Tbsps canola oil or other neutral tasting oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish Steps

METHOD

1. Whisk together the ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and turmeric in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly.

2. Alternate the chicken and grapes as you thread them onto the skewers. There should be about 5 pieces of chicken and 4 grapes on each skewer; you may have a few grapes left over. Brush with the oil.

3. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches as needed, cook the skewers about six minutes total, turning them once or twice, until grill marks have formed, the grapes have softened and the chicken is cooked through.

Sprinkle with the lemon juice and cilantro; serve with lemon wedges.