Chicken Brochettes with Orzo Pilaf and Yogurt Sauce

By Beacon Staff

The oldest cooking method known to man has to be placing meat on sticks and cooking it over an open flame. And this is still one of the most common ways to cook meat around the world today.

Whether it be spicy beef satay in Southeast Asia, chicken brochettes in the south of France or lamb kebobs in the Middle East and Africa, they all have their own special flair and I love them all.

In this recipe we will combine some flavors and ingredients from the Mediterranean Coast for a delicious and easy summer meal! You will need four, eight-inch metal skewers, a gas grill and to gather the following ingredients before getting started.


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups orzo pasta, cooked, cooled and tossed with olive oil
  • 4 links linguica or smoked chorizo sausage, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, rough chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (or water)
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • salt and pepper

We will start with making the marinade for the chicken.

To do this add the garlic, parsley, cilantro, shallot and scallions to the bowl of your food processor and pulse to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the lemon juice, lemon zest and red wine vinegar and pulse two to three more times.

Scrape the bowl one more time and then, with the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil to create an emulsion. Once you have added all the olive oil season with salt and pepper. Now that the marinade is ready place the chicken in a sealable plastic bag and add half of the marinade, press all the air out and seal. Massage the marinade into the chicken to coat all the pieces evenly and place in your refrigerator for at least one hour. Next for the sauce, whisk the remaining marinade and the yogurt together in a mixing bowl, cover and set aside.

Once the chicken has marinated for about an hour, preheat and clean your grill. Place the chicken on the metal skewers to create your brochettes and grill over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes per side until cooked thru but not dry or burned. While the chicken is cooking make your orzo pilaf by first sautéing the sausage in a little olive oil until it gets a bit of color and some of the fat has rendered into the pan. At this point add the onion, red pepper and fennel season with salt and pepper and continue sautéing for another three to four minutes.

Courtesy photo

Add the orzo to the sausage and vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add the white wine and reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Give it a final seasoning with salt and pepper and serve either family style or plated with the chicken brochettes and the yogurt sauce. Enjoy!

Josh Auerhammer is the chef/owner of the Culinary Design Studio in Bigfork.

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