May 11, 2012

Pesto Chicken Skewers

skewers 1
Well, this is awkward.

I haven’t updated this blog in over two weeks. It feels kind of strange to just hop back in again without acknowledging that funky absence. Like good friends who lost touch and then run into each other at the grocery store, posting another recipe is equal parts totally awesome and nail-bitingly overdue. Like old chums whose paths have not recently crossed, I also have similar excuses. For me, what was initially a demanding course load for the semester turned into some sort of kraken-esque monster of the deep when finals week reared its ugly head. All of a sudden, classes that had been easy became brain melting, requiring long afternoons at the library and late nights of term papers on medical symbolism in Frida Kahlo’s La Columna Rota, all of it in Spanish.

skewers 2
The unbridled joy that I felt upon finally finishing my classes earlier this week was, in a word, exhilarating. While I will still be taking a few classes during the summer, my schedule on the whole has gloriously opened up and given me some breathing room to focus on the things that I really enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy Spanish, but my brain needs time to digest all of those new concepts. Taking five classes this past semester, while manageable, was simply too demanding and stressful to balance with other areas of my life. With the lighter load this summer and switching back to just four classes in the fall, I think this blog will receive a lot more love and attention in the future.

basil plant
Now, with all of my explanations out of the way, I want to introduce you to a brand new, yum-tastic recipe! Rather than a complicated laundry list of ingredients and procedures (for which I still have an abiding love), I decided to do something super, super, simple and easy, something anybody can throw together for a delicious meal. With just some lovely skewers of chicken and fresh cherry tomatoes, brushed with bright, flavorful pesto made with basil fresh from the garden, we’ve got an effortless dish that showcases all of its tasty ingredients to the full.

picked basil 2
I don’t know what it is about cherry tomatoes, but those little beauties are absolute kryptonite for me. I can eat them raw straight from the fridge like candy, but I’ve found that they’re even more amazing when cooked to charred, juicy perfection. Blended with strong, herby pesto, with every bite the tomatoes burst in your mouth and make the bites of chicken all the more delicious. With this recipe’s simplicity and total yum factor, it’s a great way to celebrate the beginning of summer.

tomato close up
Pesto Chicken Skewers
A La Kocinera Original Recipe
Printable Recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
18 cherry tomatoes, more or less, to taste
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pesto
juice and zest of 1 lemon (optional)

If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 20 minutes to prevent burning on the grill.
If using lemon juice and zest, stir it into the pesto. Set aside.
Alternating between chicken cubes and cherry tomatoes, thread them onto skewers and then brush liberally with pesto.
Heat a grill to medium-high heat and cook the pesto skewers for several minutes per side, until chicken is cooked and tomatoes are soft.
Serve warm.


  1. Hi Koci, congrats on finishing your classes. Think of all that free time! Lovely simple tasty recipe - I love, love, love cherry tomatoes. Your photos do this recipe justice too - they just pop off the screen!

    1. Thanks! It is great to be done and have a bit of a break.

  2. These skewers look just fantastic!!
    I can't wait to make this. Now that the weather is heating up, I am all for grilling.

    1. Thank you! I am so with you on the grilling love. I get the feeling that this summer is going to be full of yummy grilling.

  3. Yeeeeeah, now it's time to relax, enjoy a little freedom and grill your face off, congrats! I love grilling out and kebabs are always lots of fun. Your recipe looks delicious - different flavors than I'm used to using for grilling, so I'm excited to try it!

    1. haha Absolutely! Glad you like the recipe!

  4. Ooooh yum! Looks very very delicious!

  5. Looks amazing! Do you have a recipe for making your own pesto?


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