Grilled Chicken Rosemary Skewers – ode to simplicity

by on April 30, 2009


The beauty of simplicity. It seems to be a reoccurring theme for us lately, but it is one that holds true for our approach to everyday cooking.  Now, we could start getting all artistically mental and begin discussing the aesthetic appeal of a minimalist approach where by stripping something down to it’s most basic form, by omitting all that is needless, one is able to truly and fully appreciate the object of attention. However, we are not going to do that to you.  No need to start making the brain hurt and get all philosophical, because this matter isn’t so complex.  This is merely a matter of time and taste.

First and foremost, time.  When it comes to everyday cooking, not many of us want to f%# with the food that much. Of course there are times when we love immersing ourselves into a dish that is built upon meticulously crafting it step after step, and there are few things more comforting than spending 4 hours slowly tending a broth like our beloved pho. However we have lives that only leave us one (or if we are lucky two) days a week at home where we have that kind of time. For most of our meals we want something that tastes very good, yet doesn’t monopolize a large amount of prep or cooking time.

Taste speaks for itself.  Either it tastes good or it doesn’t.  It’s getting to be grill time for us in Southern California, and our grilled chicken rosemary skewers are a perfect example of simple and tasty cooking. We can prep the chicken in half the time it takes for the grill to heat up, and once cooking, it is done before the beer is half gone. We will utilize our rosemary hedges by not only mincing the fresh rosemary, but also by using some of the stiffer branches and creating skewers out of them.  It’s Caveman Gourmet good (stick make taste good, mmm!) plus the rosemary  grows like a monster and enjoys the continual trimming.


Rosemary is one of those plants that if you are in it’s growing climatic zone and you need a small hedge, it should be an instant pick.  The local bees will love you, and you are now blessed with a beautiful, edible hedge.  The doggies can also use it as nature’s cologne when they brush past it. Good smelling puppers! (favorite Yu word.)

The chicken rosemary skewers are a simple as cut, dress, skewer, and grill.  When it becomes grill time in your area (for some of you it’s always grill time, even in the snow), give this recipe a try.  And don’t tell ‘em you are cooking them something “quick and easy.”  Get all brainy on them and say you are cooking minimalist style.

Chicken Rosemary Skewers Recipe

Yield: Serves 4-6

Total Time: 10 min


  • 2 lbs Chicken (cut into 1" chunks)
  • 3 T Oil (or enough to coat chicken)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • 2 T fresh Rosemary (minced)
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper (enough to season chicken)
  • approx 10 Rosemary Skewers  (opt. sub. -bamboo skewers soaked 30 min. in water)


  1. Put chicken in a bowl and dress with remaining ingredients. Slide chicken onto skewers.
  2. Heat grill for direct heat, medium high. Grill chicken for a couple minutes each side.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


Sierra says “Yummy!!”

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 maggie (p&c) April 30, 2009 at 9:29 am

Yum…wish I had space for a rosemary-hedge. These look tasty!


2 Nate April 30, 2009 at 9:58 am


wanna enter this in our “Grow Your Own” roundup this month? Today’s the deadline!




3 matt wright April 30, 2009 at 11:35 am

LOVE seeing rosemary branches used as skewers, such a fantastic idea. I wish we lived closer together so I could invite myself over for lunch!

Love your rosemary hedge BTW – which my rosemary bush looked like that!


4 Murasaki Shikibu April 30, 2009 at 11:28 am

Simple is best – and I love rosemary chicken. :)


5 Tuty April 30, 2009 at 11:34 am

I bet this works well with tender lamb morsels too… of course, chicken is more economical


6 Katie April 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Yumm! I saw this recently on a show and have wanted to try it. Have to wait for my rosemary to grow out tho! Looks great!


7 Andrea Meyers April 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I think the chicken tastes even better when using the rosemary as skewers. I don’t have the rosemary hedge that you do, but we’re trying again. Just bought two more plants to put in the ground. Hope I don’t kill them again. ;-)


8 Jen Yu April 30, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Oooooooh hoooo hooo hooo! I love her! Kaweah needs a photo-negative buddy ;) I think no matter what you two tackle: complex or simple – it is always beautiful and always fresh. I love that about your food, about your blog, about you both (beautiful and fresh! hee hee). Now I want to come visit you. Do you need an OCD to come and organize your shiznit? I’ll walk the puppers too.


9 Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary April 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Oh how I wish I had a rosemary bush! I grow rosemary but mine never gets branches here in New England. I’ll just have to stick with bamboo and smother it in rosemary! Looks great guys.


10 Hélène April 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for sharing. I’m a fan of simple meals that tastes great. Love the pictures.


11 Heather April 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Sierra!! I love your little face!!

That chicken sounds delicious too :)


12 Phoo-D April 30, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I love cooking on rosemary skewers! Beautiful photo. The largest rosemary bush I’ve ever seen was in the Middle East and it was about 6′ tall. The aroma was insane!


13 Alisa - Frugal Foodie April 30, 2009 at 4:23 pm

This sounds really good. I may have to go my grandma’s house to pinch a bit of her rosemary shrub :)


14 Tiina April 30, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I must agree with Sierra: really yummy! :) I am all for simplicity.



15 Manggy May 1, 2009 at 2:41 am

Of course, there is that annoying middle ground of taste (hmm… It tastes… “interesting…”)! But I don’t see how these skewers can be anything but good. Especially when enjoyed in that beautiful garden of yours, just chilling. Sigh. Sierra agrees with me, I see :)


16 grace May 1, 2009 at 5:16 am

i’m pretty sure i’d give exactly the same response as sierra. heck, i’m doing it anyway and i haven’t even tasted them. :)


17 Allison Lemons May 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

I just found your blog and love it! The photographs, recipes, your story – everything! I will definitely be a loyal follower, looking forward to reading future posts.


18 Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) May 1, 2009 at 11:46 am

I love using rosemary sprigs as skewers. My mom used to make a great grilled chicken that was marinaded in tomato paste, then wrapped around a cherry tomato or two and skewered with rosemary. Not as simple as this recipe, but pretty easy still.


19 Lori @ RecipeGirl May 1, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Man, don’t you love that in California we can do that w/ Rosemary? It’s all over the place around here. I’ve done the skewer thing w/ the rosemary before & was quite pleased with the flavor it imparted onto the chicken. Simple is best, and a lemon squeeze is a nice addition too!


20 White on Rice Couple May 1, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Tuty- wow, lamb morsels sound really tasty!


21 Scott at Realepicurean May 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

It looks really fantastic – a great simple dish that makes the most of what are essentially really cheap ingredients. And Sierra looks really happy, too!


22 Jeff May 4, 2009 at 6:42 am

Rosemary and lemongrass make the best skewers and are cheap too. I do something similar but I love to add a good hit of lemon with it. Going to have to try it your way because that sounds great.

I agree on simplicity is a beautiful thing at times. Constantly during the week I find myself running ragged and enough time to spend an hour cooking. Weekends I like to slow down and really get into a good long braise/smoke that takes hours.


23 Kalyn May 10, 2009 at 5:23 am

Lovely photos, and this sounds delicious. Sadly, rosemary never seems to survive the winter here, so I’m guessing I’ll never get a plant big enough to make skewers I could grill chicken on, but maybe I can eat it at your house someday!


24 Judy June 4, 2009 at 9:57 am

When using the rosemary skewers, do you need to soak them in water first?


25 valerie romero September 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

just wondering about the 10 hour time notation…. is that a mistake? :) great recipe – fresh, light, quick :)


26 White on Rice Couple September 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Yeah, that was supposed to be 10 minutes. Thanks!


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