Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Berry Sauce

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord, who grilled these chicken skewers with me the other day to rave reviews from the ‘rents. ~Elise

I’ve always been a fan of combining sweet fruits with savory spices, it sets up a certain flavor balance that just works so well. Mango with chili pepper, peaches and thyme, rhubarb and rosemary. They’re all delicious, so can there be any question that blackberries and rosemary would just be a match made in heaven?

Elise and I found the inspiration for this recipe in a tattered old cookbook; it needed a quite a bit of tweaking but we finally nailed it. The sweet sauce really makes the rosemary pop on these summer time chicken skewers. Believe me, we were sopping up this marinade with bits of watermelon, lettuce, strawberries, anything we could get our hands on.

Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Berry Sauce Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4-6 boneless chicken thighs or breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), skin on or off
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 3/4 cup of fresh or frozen blackberries or boysenberries
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly (or berry jam or jelly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method

1 Cut the chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Mix with the wine, oil, rosemary, and pepper. Cover and set aside to marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.

2 Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Thread the chicken onto skewers and season generously with salt.

3a Grilling Preheat the grill for direct high heat. Brush the grill grates with olive oil. Place chicken skewers on grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place on a platter and cover with foil to allow the chicken to rest.

3b Broiling Preheat the broiler. Place skewers on an oiled broiling pan, 5 to 6 inches away from the burner. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place on a platter and cover with foil to allow the chicken to rest.

4To make the sauce, place the marinade and the berries in a sauce pan and simmer gently until the berries are soft. Press through a strainer and discard the pulp.

5 Return the juice and marinade mixture to the pan. Add the vinegar, jelly, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered until it has reduced by about 1/3 to a light syrup-like consistency.

Plate the skewers and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a food writer, writing instructor, culinary consultant, freelance food photographer, and recipe developer who shares his enthusiasm for food and the written word through his blog Vanilla Garlic. Garrett's cookbook, co-authored with Stephanie Stiavetti, is Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese

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Showing 4 of 16 Comments

  • Sally

    This recipe is delicious, easy and beautiful! I made a couple of small changes, deglazing the pan with a little vermouth and using the raspberry jam we had on hand in place of the currant. It was wonderful. Your blog is amazing. Thanks, Elise!

  • Shelly

    Wow! What a great recipe. I prepared this dish last night and was very impressed with the combination of flavors! I did add salt to the marinade(not sure why there isn’t any in the recipe). Also wandering if I could just start with pure juice instead of cooking down the berries? Not sure how much liquid I am to start with but I didn’t get very much from the berries. Overall, I was VERY pleased and can’t wait to try other recipes of yours! Kuddos!!!

    Feel free to use cooked down juice if you want though the flavor might not be as clean. Depends on the juice. ~Garrett

  • todd

    I made this recipe tonight in the broiler and…well, it was kind of a dud. Average at best.

    The marinade doesn’t impart much flavor to the chicken, except for the rosemary which was really overpowering and bitter. I used dried rosemary, but I still think 2 tbl spoons is too much. It all sticks to the chicken during the marinade so you get this crust of broiled rosemary all over the chicken. Also, I used the amounts called for and there was only a tsp of marinade left to put in the sauce. I had to make more to add.

    I used frozen blackberries (they didn’t have much flavor, really) to make the sauce and it came out kind of bland. I had the red currant jelly and nutmeg and everything, it just didn’t come together.

    I might suggest just skipping the rosemary and going with something else. I don’t think tweaking the recipe is going to help on this one, I’m going back to chicken cardamom.

    My guess is fresh rosemary and berries would probably be the solution to your problem as you noted that neither was all that great to begin with. Great food can only be prepared with great ingredients. ~Garrett

  • Kate

    I just made the chicken with no sauce. My 4 year old ate this without saying a word about the rosemary. (he usually will point out dill or any other green herb) Delicious all the way around! As always, thanks!

  • jeannine Wright

    I have used the rosemary branches (devoid of the greenery) by soaking them in water for a short time and placing the chicken, etc on the branches for skewers. yummy

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