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Chicken Espetada

Chicken Espetada

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 4 to 6

The Portuguese term for food that’s cooked on skewers, espetada hails from the island of Madeira. It’s traditionally prepared with beef, pork or seafood, although chicken is also an option. Here the meat gets a flavour boost from a bold marinade that includes red wine vinegar, red onion, garlic and bay leaves. Cooking the skewers on an indoor grill makes the dish totally doable on a weeknight.


  • 2 lb. (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise


  • Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and half the parsley and stir to combine. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking.
  • Fit a Philips Smoke-Less Grill with the barbecue grid and preheat the grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread onto skewers. Arrange the skewers on the preheated grill and cook, turning halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the lemon halves, cut side down, on the grill and cook until nicely grill-marked and slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken skewers to a platter and garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve warm with the lemon halves alongside. Serves 4 to 6.
  • Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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