Saturday, May 08, 2010

Grilled Chicken Sanpete Kabobs Recipe

Chicken Sanpete Kabobs
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites May 2010.) This weekend is Mother's Day, the unofficial start of grilling season for some of you. May is also National Barbecue Month, so I thought it was a good time to make these Asian-flavored chicken kabobs and update the post with some better photos. This is a recipe I found years ago in one of the Salt Lake newspapers, and the "Sanpete" in the recipe title refers to Sanpete County, a part of central Utah where lots of turkeys are raised. What makes this marinade recipe a bit unusual is the addition of horseradish, which gives it a nice flavor and a slight kick. The marinade is great on turkey breast, but through the years I've used it mostly for chicken kabobs like this. This is a marinade you can put on the chicken in the morning when you go to work and let it sit in the fridge all day, ready to cook when you get home that night.

My original recipe made 8 kabobs, but I've come to realize that's more than most people would make at once. For these photos and the updated recipe, I'm giving the amounts for 4 kabobs, but I'll include the original amounts for 8 kabobs as well in case someone has this bookmarked.

The recipe called for Ginger Ale, but I've never been able to find a diet version of it, so I used this Diet 7-up which worked great. Any diet lemon-lime soda will work (or use regular soda if you're not a South Beach dieter.) If you're making 4 kabobs, you'll have half a can of soda to drink while you work!

Trim visible fat and tendons from the chicken breast, then cut each piece of chicken into 6 or 8 same-size pieces.

Whisk together diet soda, sesame oil, horseradish, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and black pepper.

Put the chicken pieces in a ziploc bag (or plastic container with a lid), pour in the marinade and let it marinate 6-10 hours in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to cook the chicken, drain the pieces in a colander placed in the sink.

Thread the chicken pieces onto four skewers. If you have double skewers like mine, you won't have to worry about the pieces spinning on the skewers, but for single skewers, fold each piece of chicken over and push them tightly together on the skewers.

Rub the grill with olive oil or spray with grill spray, then preheat to medium high heat before you put skewers on the grill. If you want grill marks on your kabobs, start by laying the skewers on the diagonal. When marks appear, rotate them so they're going diagonally the other way.

After 8-10 minutes on the first side, turn skewers over and cook until they feel firm (but not hard) to the touch. Total cooking time for both sides will be about 15-20 minutes, but actually cooking time will depend on your grill temperature and how thick the chicken pieces are.

Grilled Chicken Sanpete Kabobs
(Recipe found years ago in the Salt Lake Tribune. This version makes 4 kabobs, see after the first recipe for ingredients for 8 kabobs.)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade Ingredients:
6 oz. (1/2 can) diet ginger ale or diet lemon lime soda
2 T sesame oil
2 T horseradish (or more)
2 1/2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or garlic puree)
1 1/2 tsp. ginger puree or grated fresh ginger (do not substitute dried ginger)
coarse ground black pepper to taste

Trim all visible fat or tendons from chicken breasts, then cut each piece of chicken into 6-8 same-size pieces and put in Ziploc bag. Combine marinade ingredients, pour over chicken and marinate 6-10 hours in refrigerator.

When ready to cook, rub the grill grates with olive oil or spray with grill spray, then preheat grill to medium-high heat. (You can only hold your hand there for 2-3 seconds at that heat.)

Drain chicken in a colander placed in the sink, then thread chicken on to skewers,. For single skewers, fold each piece of chicken over and press the chicken pieces together so they do not "spin" on the skewers.

For grill mark, lay skewers on a diagonal and cook 3-4 minutes or until marks appear, then rotate diagonally the opposite way and cook 3-4 minutes more. Turn skewers over and continue to cook until slightly browned and firm but not hard to the touch, about 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.

If you have a grill top "wok" pan you could cook this with some snow peas, onions, and mushrooms for a grill-cooked "stir fry". If you choose this option, cook the chicken inthe wok pan for 10-15 minutes, then add veggies and cook about 5 minutes more.

Original Recipe Amounts for 8 Kabobs:
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Marinade Ingredients:
1 can diet ginger ale or diet lemon lime soda
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup horseradish (or more)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 T garlic powder (or garlic puree)
1 T ginger puree or grated fresh ginger (do not substitute dried ginger)
coarse ground black pepper to taste

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Made with diet soda, this recipe is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Serve with something like Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Tahini-Peanut Dipping Sauce or Roasted Broccoli with Soy Sauce and Sesame Seeds for phase one. For Phase 2 or 3, add something like Lake Powell Spicy Rice.

More Grilled Chicken You Might Like to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chicken Souvlaki from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts from Amanda's Cooking
Grilled Chicken Under a Brick from Pinch My Salt
Peruvian Grilled Chicken from Andrea Meyers
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Yum, Kalyn! My kind of food. This is definitely going into my cookbook.

  2. I agree with Christine. That would taste great--it has all my favorite ingredients in it. I love Lake Powell. I never did a houseboat trip, but I camped there for almost a week. We even got lost in a canyon and had to hike out in the morning in a kind of death march! Ahhh...good times. :)

  3. This sounds great--I never would have thought of using ginger ale in a marinade!

  4. That is a very interesting variation of the Indian kebabs that we make often...hmm...I love them...Next time I think I can try u'r recipe...thanx for sharing...

  5. this looks and sounds wonderful! LOVE the picts!!

  6. Christine, don't you love that way of saving recipes in I
    m nuts about it.

    Sher, fun to hear you've bee to Lake Powell. It's so beautiful there.

    Erin, the ginger ale is great, but I can't usually find diet ginger ale so I usually use diet Sprite.

    Indianadoc, it's a recipe I've been making for about 15 years, so I think it's a keeper.

    Pam and Nau-dee, thanks.

  7. This marinade looks great! I'll print it out and try it, thanks!

  8. Any marinade that includes Diet 7Up appeals to me! I do like the idea of grilling the chicken with some peppers and onions, and then stuffing all into one of my favorite oat-bran pita breads.

  9. Amazing! It's very delicious but too much grilled foods can cause cancer of liver, watch out guys =)

  10. I have a question about the horseradish. Do you use 2 T of prepared horseradish? The listing in the recipe is a bit confusing. Other than that, these look delicious!

  11. Stephanie, sorry about that (the word cup was a typo, fixed it). I used 2 T cream style horseradish.

  12. I used Dr Pepper once as a braise for brisket. I wonder what it would do to chicken?

    Thanks for inspiring me once again, Kalyn!


  13. It's most certainly getting to be kbob season. I'll be giving this a try. Sounds wonderful.

  14. this is my first year grilling since my twins came along 2 1/2 yrs ago (it was just too much bother to go running in and out of the house to cook when things are already so crazy) this recipe looks so good -- I'm anxious to get some chicken to try. We just bought about 100 lbs of ground beef -- do you have any grill suggestions for that -- besides burgers??

  15. Mom-ster, just enter "ground beef" into the search box and you will get a list of recipes using it. I know there is one favorite for grilled ground beef kabobs, lots of other good ones too.

  16. Ha! When I saw the name of the recipe "Sanpete," I thought it was going to be something Indian. I'm not disappointed though, Kalyn. This sounds delicious, especially with summer upon us.

  17. MMMMMM,...a stunning & tasty dish!!

    I so love food as lovely easy yet so special as this!

    Yummmmm,...What a neat idea to use ginger ale in a mariande!! This is pretty tasty food!

  18. The chicken kebab looks perfect,yummy...

  19. I'm not sure why someone is leaving a comment telling me bacon and pork rinds aren't allowed in phase one. There is no bacon or pork rinds in this recipe??

  20. This marinade sounds so exotic. I make chicken kebabs pretty often - varying them between Mediterranean to South Asian. I must try yours.

  21. Made this last night using diet gingerale.It was delicious. My family really enjoyed it. Thanks for a great dinner idea. Alton Brown has an easy carrot recipe using gingerale (don't want to waste the other 1/2 of the can)that I made last summer w/ carrots from the farmer's market that was very good.

  22. Glad to hear you liked it!

  23. Thank you so much for the link Kalyn! I'm bookmarking this recipe :)

  24. Zevia makes a gingerale with stevia in it. And I have some, think I will try this.

  25. Marianne, I will have to look for that!

  26. to do it stir fry style, what would you use for sauce?

  27. I'd suggest you look at the Stir Fry Recipes on the site and find a sauce recipe that sounds good.

  28. I don't understand. This is a note on your recipe to do this in stir fry pan with the veggies. I don't know what would taste right with it as I have never had this before.

  29. Oh, that recipe note is assuming you marinated the chicken as per the recipe. Then you would not need much of a sauce, just what sticks to the chicken. I was assuming you didn't want to make the marinade.

  30. Thank you Kalyn! Are you of the school to not use marinade to cook with? If I heated it could I use it in stir fry?

  31. There will be bacteria in the marinade from the raw chicken (sounds like you know that.) But if you boil it on the stove for a little bit, it would be fine as a sauce for this, and very tasty. I'd cook it at least 5-10 minutes before you taste the marinade and then continue to simmer and reduce until you like the flavor. (It will eventually get too strong, but I think that would take quite a while.)

  32. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

    1. Yes, I think thigh meat would be great for this recipe.


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