Chipotle Chicken Skewers Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

This recipe for chicken skewers is on frequent repeat at my house in the summer whenever I’m entertaining and want to use the grill. The chili sauce, which can be store bought, and the chipotles add zing, while the orange juice cuts a little of the heat. Don’t worry; if you can’t stand cilantro, you can swap it out by doubling the oregano in the recipe. Before you start cooking, remember to soak the bamboo skewers for half an hour in advance so they don’t burn when they hit the grill.

Prep Details

Servings: 5


For the marinade:

½ cup chili sauce

½ cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)

2 garlic cloves

2 chipotle chilies in adobo (or more to taste)

1 tsp. dried cumin

½ tsp chili powder

1 cup orange juice

1 tsp. Kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken:

20 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then drained

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 medium red onions, quarted

1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano


For Marinade:

1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

For Chicken:

1. On a cutting board, cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, then transfer them to a medium bowl. Pour a ½ cup of the marinade over the chicken, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

2. When chicken is ready, preheat the broiler, or if you’re using an outdoor grill, prepare a medium-hot fire.

3. While grill or broiler is heating up, slide 2 pieces of onion onto each skewer followed by 3 pieces of chicken. Continue until you’ve filled all 20 skewers with onions and chicken. Transfer the skewers to a large baking sheet and line them up in a single layer. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and brush it with ¼ cup of the marinade.

4. Broil or grill the chicken skewers without turning them until they’re cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked skewers to a platter. In a small pot, heat the remaining marinade on medium low just until it boils.

5. Garnish the skewers with sesame seeds, chopped cilantro and oregano. Serve with the heated sauce.