Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Lemon-Fig Glaze

No matter how many dinners I’ve cooked or how many recipes I’ve created or finessed, I keep coming back to the same principle: simple is best. Here’s an example. Little chicken tenders are great for grilling on skewers, and an easy soy sauce-olive oil marinade ensures even more tenderness. All they need is a tasty glaze, and that’s easy too.

Here, I used fig preserves and honey for the sweetness (and stickiness) and fresh lemon juice for the balancing tartness. Simple and flavorful, that’s all.

Note: For this recipe, I used the Japanese style of grilling meat skewers elevated on bricks. This method keeps the small chicken tenders from touching the hot grate and possibly sticking or tearing. Yes, you can grill the skewers directly on an oiled grate, but if you’re interested in the brick method, check out Chicken Yakitori with Shiitakes and Scallions.

Also note: The soy sauce in the marinade takes the place of salt. There’s also salt in the glaze, so no need to sprinkle additional on the chicken!

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 small rosemary twigs
  • 8 3-oz chicken tenders
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tbsp fig preserves
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine the soy sauce, olive oil, and 2 rosemary twigs in a sturdy, sealable bag. Add the chicken tenders, seal, and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.
  2. Light a grill for medium-high heat. Wrap 2 bricks tightly in foil and place on the grill as noted in Chicken Yakitori with Shiitakes and Scallions.

Tenders in Marinade

  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and melt the better. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. Add the fig preserves, lemon juice, honey, and chopped rosemary and bring to a light simmer. Cook, stirring frequently to break down the preserves, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Shallot in Butter

Lemon-Fig Glaze
  1. Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade, letting excess drip off, and season with pepper. Thread 2 tenders lengthwise on each of 4 skewers (soaked in water 30 minutes, if wood).
  2. Place the skewers on the bricks and grill the chicken, turning a few times, until lightly charred on both sides and cooked through, 12-15 minutes total, depending on the thickness of the tenders. About 3 minutes before the chicken is done, brush both sides with most of the glaze. 
Ready to Grill

Beginning to Grill

Glazed Tenders
Transfer the skewers to a platter and brush with the remaining glaze. Serve right away.

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Lemon-Fig Glaze

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