Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Berry Sauce

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Rosemary marinated chicken skewers, grilled or broiled, and served with a blackberry sauce.

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

  • Yield: Serves 4


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


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 professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

Showing 4 of 16 Comments / Reviews

  • Alanna

    You’re on a real rosemary kick these days, Elise! I’ve read that you can infuse even more rosemary flavor (although there may be plenty in your recipe) by soaking rosemary sprigs in water, then creating a ‘bed’ of the sprigs to put the meat onto while it cooks.

    Hi Alanna, this one was all Garrett’s idea (and his post), but is sure helps to have rosemary bushes growing right outside. Love the idea of soaking the sprigs and creating a bed of them, thanks! ~Elise

  • Burk

    This sounds incredible – I’ll have to get my hands on some blackberries.

    Have you tried rosemary-infused salt? It’s super simple: just warm up some kosher salt in a sauce pan and stir in a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary. The heat releases the oils into the salt, which becomes gently perfumed. Sprinkle on potatoes, chicken, pork chops, popcorn, grilled veggies, etc, or use in rubs and marinades.

    I keep a supply in a big spice shaker, with the rosemary still inside. The salt dries out the rosemary, so it keeps indefinitely in a sealed container. (The dried rosemary does add significant kick, though – leave it out if you’re looking for a gentle flavor.)

    Burk, I am loving this idea. I’ll have to try it out! ~Garrett

  • Linda

    You two, this recipe is incredible!!!! I saw the recipe right after getting home from the grocery store. I had the chicken, the rosemary, etc. but no blackberries. Anyway, I made this recipe for dinner; and let me tell you, there was nothing left on our plates. I ended up making the sauce with raspberries and found it needed about a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it a little bit more. Because I am squeamish about using leftover marinade, I just halved the marinade recipe, made a fresh batch and added it to the sauce. It came out fantastic. I will make this again when blackberries are here. Now, let me tell you that I did keep a skewer full of chicken to make chicken salad tomorrow. Do you have any ideas for a good base? – sour cream and mayo don’t seem to be worthy! Thanks, again, for this fabulous recipe. It was really delicious.

    Linda, I’m so glad you loved this recipe as much as we did! As for a chicken salad using these sauced bits of chicken? Personally, I would go with some fresh greens, nuts, and fruit. I agree with you, mayo or sour cream wouldn’t be worthy and might cloudy up those fruity flavors. Throw on a bit of lemon juice, oil, and vinegar and I think you’re set! ~Garrett

  • bs_h

    This sounds delicious and I’d love to try it. However, my grilling spouse’s chicken is always grilled to a dryness I cannot describe. Any suggestions to help him understand the difference between done and oh dear?

    I would check this post for that info, my grilling skills are sub par, Elise and Hank are the experts on that here. ~Garrett

  • Frank


    This is a very good recipe, I also like chicken kabobs with sage seasoning. I love the quick recipes on this site. I haven’t bought raisin bread since you put the Irish soda bread recipe on your site. Man I love that stuff and it is really quick and easy.

    Thanks for all the great recipes.
    Frank W

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Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Berry Sauce