Follow these steps at home to make grilled Pinchos de Pollo, a popular Puerto Rican street food of marinated and grilled chicken on skewers. For best results, marinade bite-size pieces of chicken in the fridge for at least one hour (or overnight) before barbecuing the chicken skewers. Yields 4 servings.
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These Puerto Rican chicken pinchos are a delicious summer staple.
Here's what you need to make pinchos de pollo:
- olive oil
- white vinegar
- fresh oregano
- adobo seasoning
- sazon seasoning
- bay leaves
- chicken thighs (boneless & skinless)
- bbq sauce (optional)
See recipe card for exact quantities.
Make the marinade. Combine oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, adobo and sazon in a bowl, mortar & pestle or food processor. Process until a smooth paste is formed.
Prep the chicken. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, place in a bowl, and coat with the marinade. Marinate covered in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight).
Tip: If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before using to prevent them from getting scorched.
Grill the chicken. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers and prep your grill surface, heating to medium heat. Grill the pinchos de pollo for 10 minutes on both sides, or until cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Serve. Keep it traditional and serve with toasted white bread and additional bbq sauce brushed on top if desired.
What Kind of Chicken To Use
Here are some options for the chicken to use:
- Bone in Chicken Thighs - feel free to use these and remove the bone while chopping the chicken into pieces.
- Skin On Chicken - similarly to the method mentioned above, simply remove the skin with a knife while processing the chicken.
- Breasts - while I really encourage using chicken thighs, you can make this recipe with chicken breasts if need be. Just be aware that they will be significantly less juicy!
Pinchos are one of those popular street foods that come in many different styles.
If you ever find yourself lucky enough to visit Puerto Rico, make sure to try pinchos de pollo, pinchos de carne (beef), and pinchos de cerdo (pork) if given the chance!
With similar seasonings and different types of meat, each variation is a unique and finger licking treat.
As mentioned above, these grilled chicken skewers are a traditional street food, grilled on the street by local vendors.
If you don't have a grill, you can make them in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees, but the texture and overall flavor won't be exactly the same.
These Puerto Rican chicken pinchos keep really well when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They should keep for up to 5 days and can be reheated in the microwave, oven or stovetop.
Make sure to have a loaf of fresh white bread to serve the traditional way with your pinchos de pollo. Bonus points if you rub them with some fresh garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of adobo seasoning.