These Peruvian chicken skewers have a bit of a back story. In October I’m cooking for some amazing clients. They booked me for their wedding weekend to prepare and serve food at their home for three different days: a wedding kick-off evening, breakfast and lunch for the wedding party the day of, and a brunch buffet for the day after.
I’m also cooking up some Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins for brunch the day after the wedding if you want to check out another Paleo recipe!
I have been doing a ton of research for these clients (as I typically do), but it’s looked a lot different than usual. This is because the family I am cooking for is Paleo with severe tree nut, peanut, and allium allergies! The allium allergy for my event can have garlic – so you’ll see that’s included in this recipe. This is actually not my first event cooking for clients with a lot of dietary needs, and I certainly hope it’s not my last!
I am happy to say that I think I’ve embraced the “challenge” fully – I love to find ways to make food good and delicious for everyone, and I think that food should always make you feel as good as it tastes. That being said – I’m more than excited to learn new recipes and share them with you all.
I know a little bit about the paleo lifestyle, but not a ton, so I’ve really been able to expand horizons and learn different techniques!
So to further explain some of these lifestyles/dietary restrictions in case you aren’t familiar:
No processed foods allowed. Essentially if a cave man couldn’t have made it, it doesn’t make the cut. Paleo does not allow any dairy, gluten, or grains of any kind (that includes corn and rice – common additions to gluten free flour blends), I believe they can’t have most starches as well, but I’ve found that many sites mention it’s a better evil than grains, and it truly is essential in maintaining stability.
Tree Nut Allergies
Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Pistachios and Walnuts are all tree nuts. The almonds especially are important to note, because that is an additional key ingredient in many gluten free and paleo flour blends or baked good products. Check out my blog post about Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins to see how I hacked this one to be nut free!
The onion family. Onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, green onions, chives, etc. In my case, the person with an allium allergy can have garlic, but nothing else in the allium family, so I have included garlic in my recipes.
How I came up with Peruvian Chicken Skewers
At first glance, many people who don’t live with this lifestyle (sadly, many great chefs included) may think, “what on earth can they eat? Raw vegetables?” but I have to say, it’s a great opportunity to be creative, and THERE ARE SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!
Exhibit A: These AMAZING flavor packed Peruvian Chicken Skewers. I am serving these as an appetizer with a basil chimichurri style sauce. Exhibit B: the rest of the menu I created (I am a chef, sometimes I let my ego get the best of me… but really – that menu is spot on).
You can cook these on a grill or you can use a grill pan. Either will work perfectly.
Peruvian Chicken Side Options
As an additional side for these skewers, I served them with some great black rice (also known as forbidden rice) which you can likely find in your local store in the grain aisle, but sometimes it’s in the international foods aisle. I know this is not paleo – but I was making a test batch for dinner so I’m just throwing that out there for you non-paleo eaters. It is gluten free though, and it’s divine with this Peruvian chicken! It’s got a slightly sweeter flavor than white rice, but that nutty-element that brown rice has. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.
Alternatively, if I were serving this to paleo eaters, I would sub the black rice with cauliflower rice, and keep the cilantro and lime juice. The acidity is incredible and the cauliflower will pick it up really nicely. These days you can easily find riced cauliflower but if you need to rice your own, simply cut away large florets and put in a food processor. Process until grainy consistency, and you’re good to go!
Did you make this recipe?
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Peruvian Chicken Skewers and Basil Chimichurri
Perhaps one of the most flavor packed chicken dishes I’ve ever had – easy for a weeknight but also great for a large crowd on the weekend too! Serve with cilantro lime black rice or cauliflower rice on the side, or serve as is for a filling appetizer.
- Prep Time: 8
- Additional Time: 20
- Cook Time: 12
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 2
- Category: Dinner
- Diet: Gluten Free
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
2 medium cloves garlic finely minced
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp Chipotle powder
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp powdered ginger or 1 Tbsp freshly grated
1 tsp Fish Sauce
Basil Chimichurri Sauce
2 Cups Basil (about)
1/4+ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Make marinade by combining all marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Add to marinade and coat well. Marinate for 15 minutes minimum, for up to 24 hours.
3. Chimichurri can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Simply add all ingredients to food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil as needed until consistency of choice. It should run off a spoon easily.
4. When ready to grill chicken, preheat grill pan and grill. Place skewers on seasoned grill and let cook for 5-6 minutes. Then turn and cook until done, another 4-5 minutes or so.
5. Serve with chimichurri sauce and other sides as desired.
Keywords: Paleo, Dairy Free, Chicken, Easy Dinner, Quick Recipes, Make Ahead Dinner, Make Ahead