Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Romesco Sauce

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Romesco sauce has its roots in the Spanish province of Catalonia. Although the mixture has lots of variations, most combine roasted red peppers, nuts, garlic, and crusty bread to make a thick sauce that often tops grilled fish.


8 wood or metal skewers

2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-in. cubes

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons plus 1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton; see Notes)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup peeled roasted red peppers (canned or fresh)

1/4 cup whole almonds or hazelnuts, toasted

1 slice crusty bread, toasted and cut into cubes

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 bunches green onions, root ends trimmed


1. If using wood skewers, soak in cold water at least 30 minutes before using. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine chicken, cilantro, 3 tbsp. olive oil, lime juice, 2 tsp. garlic, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper. Toss to coat, then marinate, chilled, 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put roasted peppers, nuts, bread, vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp. minced garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil in food processor and whirl until puréed; sauce will be thick.

3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking grate only 3 to 4 seconds). Thread chicken onto skewers, discarding marinade. Drizzle green onions with remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Lay skewers on grill (cover if using gas) and cook 4 minutes. Turn skewers over, then lay green onions on grill. Cook 4 minutes, until chicken is browned and cooked through and onions are charred in places. Serve hot, accompanied by sauce.