Onion-Lemon Chicken Kebabs

This recipe is straight out of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. He has a whole two page chart of variations on chicken kebabs, but I decided to start with his basic recipe, which uses an onion-lemon marinade. I grilled them, but you could also broil them. These are really easy to make, and they turned out really good. I would definitely make them again.

If I were to do this again, I would cut down on the amount of chopped onion in the marinade, not because the chicken was too onion-y, but because it seems like a waste to throw out all that onion when you’re done with it. I froze the lemon-y onions to toss into some rice some day or something. Also, the standard Bittman warning applies–don’t trust his cooking times. He would have had me grilling the chicken for 12-15 minutes, but I after just shy of ten minutes, they were cooked perfectly.

I ate my kebabs with grilled Zucchini (sliced, skewered and grilled for 5-10 minutes) and naan (heated on the grill) because I couldn’t find any decent looking pita bread at the store. Rice or couscous would also be a good option, and hummus and/or yogurt sauce would have been good on the chicken. I happened to have some creamy avocado sauce that was good. I’m planning to turn my leftover chicken and onions into chicken salad.

One final note–this recipe would be phenomenal with shrimp instead of chicken.


Servings: About 3

Time: 10 minutes of prep, at least an hour to marinade, 10 minutes to cook


  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Ziplock bag or a bowl for marinading
  • Skewers (If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water.)
  • Measuring spoons


  • 1½ lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 large onions (maybe less)
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 Tbl minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano

Do These Things in This Order

  1. Cut the chicken into 1½” pieces.
  2. Dice up one of the onions and combine it with the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano.
  3. Marinade the chicken in the onion mixture in a bowl or a ziplock bag for at least an hour. I marinaded for almost two days in the fridge just because I didn’t get around to cooking it.
  4. Heat up a grill or a broiler. In the mean time, cut your remaining onion into big chunks (quarter it, then separate the layers) and load up your skewers, alternating between onion and chicken. I filled up three skewers.
  5. Grill or broil your chicken for about five minutes, then flip the skewers and broil for 5 more minutes. If you’re also grilling other vegetables, you can do them at the same time.
  6. Serve with pita bread, naan, rice, or something else entirely.

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