These Citrus Achiote Chicken Skewers are a great way to prepare chicken that is easy, beautiful, and extremely tasty.
You could certainly opt to leave the chicken breasts whole or even use chicken thighs, but we love the amount of flavor that the marinade gives the finished chicken by cutting it first into cubes. The char from a grill is just another taste component added to the chicken to give it a nice smoky flavor.
What is Achiote?
The key ingredient in this dish is achiote paste, which is not terribly difficult to find (we get it HERE). The paste is already prepared and tastes great, but it can also be made from scratch if you wish, as there are many recipes for the finished product out there.
The Achiote paste is derived from annatto seeds, which is often used in cuisines from Mexico to South America and all through the Caribbean as well as parts of Southeast Asia. The flavor of the paste is unique, bringing elements of sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and earthiness while also producing a beautiful color. It is pretty mild on spice and carries more peppery notes than heat.
What flavors are in the Citrus Achiote Chicken Skewers?
Combining achiote paste with citrus is a great fit that really amps up chicken. A few other ingredients, such as ginger and garlic, help enhance the flavor and a bit of chile paste, such as Sambal Oelek, allows for just the slightest bit of spice to wake up the skewers. A creamy sauce compliments the chicken and adds a fresh, lively flavor as well.
What to serve with the chicken skewers?
We included a recipe for what we feel is a great side dish for the Citrus Achiote Chicken Skewers. The Pepper Rice is a simple preparation using bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and black pepper while cooking basmati rice in chicken stock. Since rice is so absorbent and welcoming to flavors, whatever you cook it in will impart its flavor directly to the rice.
You can also serve these skewers with mixed vegetable skewers, or with fresh tortillas for more of a fajita style meal.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Citrus Achiote Chicken Skewers! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
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