These pinchos de pollo (Puerto Rican chicken skewers) from Latin American Paleo Cooking are a snap to make, packed with flavor, and super healthy.
So, hi! I’m back from what I think was my longest blogging hiatus ever, and I have really missed you. I have a post coming up soon with details on what I’ve been up to in case you’re interested (spoiler alert: planning our wedding and lots of freelance work!). From now on I’ll be sharing recipes more regularly again, and am really excited to get back in the game with this amazing and super simple recipe from Amanda Torres’ new cookbook, Latin American Paleo Cooking. Amanda is the brilliant recipe developer and writer behind the blog The Curious Coconut, and she wrote the cookbook with her mother in law, Milagros Torres, who grew up in Puerto Rico and has been cooking since she was ten.
The book is full of tempting recipes for family dinners, party food, quick and easy meals, sides, cooking essentials like sauces, and desserts from many different Latin American countries. Since I’m trying to slim down for my wedding (it’s in less than two weeks!), I have not even looked at the dessert chapter. However, I’ve been poring over everything else and have a huge list of what I want to make. Empanadas are at the very top of my list (and the top of the cover of the book–don’t they look amazing?)!
Here’s some other exciting news: I now have a food styling assistant helping me out at some of my photo shoots! Her name is Giovana and she does great photography, too (check out one of her photos below and more on her portfolio or Insta). I’ll tell you more about her in a future post, but for now, we need to talk about these pinchos!
“Pinchos” is Spanish for skewers and is really fun to say. (Try it! Also, if you’re thinking about Buddy the Elf right now, we’re soul siblings). I speak Spanish but haven’t had many chances to use that word, because clearly I don’t eat skewers often enough. That is about to change now that I know about these pinchos de pollo. I was very impressed at how flavorful they are thanks to just a few ingredients. Garlic and oregano make these skewers smell and taste amazing, and the lime juice gives them a tart kick and helps make the chicken nice and tender. (If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember how I generally feel about boneless, skinless chicken breasts. So, the fact that I loved this recipe even though it’s made with breasts is high praise!)
While I was busy threading marinated chicken onto skewers and heating up the grill, Giovana whipped up the Salsa Verde Mágica (Magic Green Sauce) from page 165 of Latin American Paleo Cooking. When you get the book, I would just go ahead and stick a bookmark right in that page. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to make this sauce over and over and drizzle it on everything savory. The combination of pinchos de pollo, salsa verde mágica, and white rice made for a super satisfying meal, but the book also has several grain-free rice alternatives if rice does not agree with you.
GIVEAWAY: If you’d like to enter to win a copy of Latin American Paleo Cooking by Amanda Torres with Milagros Torres, here’s how. Check out the table of contents on Amazon or elsewhere and leave a comment on this post with the recipe you’d like to try first. I’ll pick a winner in three weeks (at the end of the day on Tuesday, September 26th). You must have a U.S. shipping address to receive the book. ¡Buena suerte!
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 3-5 cloves)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (from about ½ lime)
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into one-inch cubes
- Equipment: Skewers
- **NOTE: Prep time listed is hands-on time and does not include time for the chicken to marinate (at least 2 hours).**
- If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
- In a large glass bowl, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, oil and lime juice and stir to form
- a paste. Add the chicken and stir to combine. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium heat (325 to 375F [170 to 190C]). Depending on the type of grill this may take 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and thread it onto the skewers, spreading each piece as flat as possible and leaving a very small space between each piece.
- Once the grill is hot, brush the cooking grates clean, if necessary (to prevent sticking). Grill the kebabs over direct medium heat, keeping the lid closed as much as possible, until the chicken is firm to the touch and no longer pink in the center, 8 to 10 minutes total, turning once or twice during cooking. Take care not overcook.
- Serve hot, with salsa verde mágica (page 165) and white rice or malanga rice (page 118) if desired.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Latin American Paleo Cooking for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own. This post does not contain affiliate links.