Grilled Chicken Skewers

Remember the movie “Father of the Bride?”  The re-make, with Steve Martin as George Banks (the father) and Martin Short as Franck, the wacky wedding planner with the goofy accent?  Remember?

There’s a hilarious scene where the two of them are discussing the wedding menu (or, ‘monyu’); flamboyant Franck tries to convince stressed-out George (or, ‘Mr. Bonks’) that he must serve either veal (‘vol’), seafood (‘sah foot’), or the lowly, cheaper chicken (‘the chipper chocken’).  George, who is trying to pinch pennies, of course opts for the ‘chipper chocken’.  He then rips his old ‘tux-ah-doh’ straight down the back,  heads off to the grocery store in a huff, and proceeds to rip the stockboy a new one over the outrageous cost of hotdog buns.  A crazy shopping cart chase through the aisles ensues, where product displays tumble left and right, and  George lands himself in jail, where poor Nina (Diane Keaton) has to come to bail him out.

Remember that scene?  You don’t?  Well then you must go rent the movie.  It’s delightful from start to finish!

You’re probably asking yourself where this conversation could possibly be headed.  And so, before I digress much further (like, by busting out the complete soundtrack for you), I want to tell you about this ‘chipper chocken’ recipe that I made tonight.  It’s my favorite dish to make out of plain old, boring ‘chocken’ breasts.

The refreshing Greek flavors of oregano and fresh mint really liven up these pretty skewers.  The whole meal came together quite quickly – you’ll just need a little time to marinade the chicken.  While the chicken marinates, pull together the delicious Greek salad, prepare a box of couscous or rice pilaf, and toast some pita bread.  Dinner is served!


Serves:  4

Source:, originally published in Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2001

  • 1 ½ lbs. skinless boneless chicken breast halves (on sale!), cut in to 1-inch pieces
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. dried mint
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (one clear plastic box from the produce department)
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 metal skewers (or wood, just soak them for an hour beforehand so they don’t burn up on your grill)
  • Greek Salad, below

Mix chicken, oil, garlic, mint, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Let marinate 30 minutes (mine went two hours with no trouble).

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.  Pull off the large mint leaves from their stems.  Alternate chicken, onion, and mint leaves on skewers, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill until chicken is just cooked through, turning occasionally, about 9 minutes total.  Serve with Greek Salad.


Yields:  about 4 ½ cups

  • ¾ lb. stemmed tomatoes (on sale), seeded, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 c. diced seeded peeled cucumber (about 1 large, on sale)
  • 1 c. diced red bell pepper (from 1 large)
  • ¼ c. pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • ¼ c. diced red onion
  • 3 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 ½ T. red wine vinegar
  • ½ t. dried oregano
  • ¼ c. crumbled feta (half of a 4 oz. box)

Toss the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.  Gently mix in cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the Chicken Kebabs!

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | August 11th, 2009