The Key To Better Chicken Skewers Is All In How You Cut Them

Chicken skewers are one of those seemingly universal foods, popular everywhere from the barbecues of the Southern United States to the iconic street food stalls of Southeast Asia. While they may seem to be as simple as food can get, there are a few vital tricks to making the most of your skewers. One is as simple as the way you cut your chicken before it hits the grill.

Many cooks instinctively cut their chicken into roughly cube-shaped chunks before threading them onto the skewers. This makes sense, as it's been the traditional way many have seen it served. But skilled cooks, especially those abroad, have found ways to dramatically amp up flavor simply by cutting the chicken into strips instead. The advantage primarily comes down to the surface area. Strips offer the ability for far more of each piece of chicken to make direct contact with the grill, imbuing the flavorful char and smokiness that many eaters love. It also allows them to cook through faster and avoids the risk of burning on the outside before the inside is done. 

A wide world of flavor options

More surface area also means more room for sauces and seasonings, which can add to the incredible taste of your skewers and help keep the meat juicy. When it comes to seasoning, chicken skewers are truly a wonderful canvas. Those looking for a sweet and savory option should try The Pioneer Woman's Hawaiian chicken skewers, while those who can take the heat can opt for spicy jerk chicken skewers instead. Asian-influenced sauces and seasonings are great options for dishes like satay or yakitori, while traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean kebabs and souvlaki are also reliable standbys.

Another useful trick for improving your grilled chicken skewers is to select the proper cut of chicken. While breasts are popular, thighs offer more flavor for those who don't mind dark meat. Plus, the additional fat helps keep them from drying out. Keep these secrets in mind and you may be surprised how much of a boost they give your otherwise typical chicken skewers.