During the summer months, we like to be outside using the grill for dinners rather than heat up the house by using the oven. The boys (okay, and the adults) think that kabobs are a fun way to eat, so we like to make them and are always trying to find new recipes.
One day, Justin came across this recipe for chicken kabobs that are marinated in beer and ranch dressing and we knew we wanted to try it. Especially because there are potatoes on this recipe and I love potatoes!
Don’t worry, even though the marinade uses beer the alcohol is all cooked off so this is safe for the kids, too. Speaking of kids, both of the boys ate all of the chicken off these, so I’d say it was a winner! Although, they can’t be my kids because potatoes are one of my favorites and they don’t like them.
I’ve used ranch power in quite a few recipes before (find my recipe for Ranch Pork Chops here and Veggie Pizza here), and I really like the flavor it adds to meat and vegetable dishes. So when I was looking through the recipe and saw ranch with chicken and potatoes, I was sold!
Lately, Justin has been doing most of the grocery shopping which worked well for this trip because I don’t drink beer, so I don’t know much about it to know which brand would be good for a marinade. The original recipe suggested a light colored or amber ale. That’s great, but I still don’t know what that means and what to choose.
There’s a local brewery here in Houston called St. Arnold’s which makes an ale that fits the description. Or at least, that’s what Justin told me! He bought a bottle of that for the recipe, and the food was good, so he knew what he was doing better than I would have. Since this is a local brew, I’m not sure how far their distribution is. You can use any beer that fits as a pale or amber ale. I’ve heard that, when it comes to cooking, cheap beer usually gives more flavor. But also get something that you’ll drink on its own because you only need half of a cup for the recipe and will have extra.
When we go grocery shopping, we usually buy the large package of chicken breast and separate it into glass jars for freezing when we get home. If I know what meals I am making, we will go ahead and prepare the chicken. Since I knew this was on our meal plan and the chicken needed to be cut into chunks, we did that before even freezing the chicken which made the meal prep quicker and easier.
Step by Step
If you haven’t pre-cut the chicken, then start by cutting it into big chunks. I like to use the kitchen shears for this since it’s easier and safer than using a knife on slippery chicken. Make sure you leave the pieces large enough that they will fit on the skewers without falling apart. In a small bowl whisk the beer, ranch powder, olive oil, and garlic. Pour about 2/3 of this over the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, saving the other 1/3 in the refrigerator.
About 30 minutes before you want to grill, you’ll need to parboil the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into large chunks to make sure they won’t fall off of the skewers when they are grilled. You want to make sure they aren’t cooked all the way, otherwise, they will be too soft to skewer. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water, bringing to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and let them cook for about 5 minutes.
**If you are using bamboo skewers, this is a good time to get them soaking. Ideally, they should soak for about 20-30 minutes to make sure they don’t burn on the grill. We prefer metal skewers so we don’t have to worry about this and they can be reused so we lower the amount of waste.
The potatoes should just start to get soft on the outside, but still be hard in the centers. Pour them into a colander and immediately run cold water to stop the potatoes from cooking further. Then add them to a bowl with the remaining marinade and toss to coat.
When you are ready to cook, heat the grill to a medium temperature, then prepare your kabobs by alternating chicken and potatoes on the skewers. I cooked more potatoes than we needed, so we ended up with about 4 pieces of chicken and 5 chunks of potato on each kabob.
Grill the kabobs until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are crispy on the outside. This will take about 20-25 minutes, depending on the temperature of your grill.
We grilled some corn on the cob with our kabobs. We hadn’t ever grilled it like this before, but it was really good and the boys thought it was fun to try to eat.
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Beer Ranch Chicken Kabobs
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1/2 cup beer pale or amber ale
- 1 tbsp ranch powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb golden potatoes
Prepare Chicken Marinade
- Cut the chicken into chunks about 1-1 1/2 inches, large enough that they won’t fall off of the skewers
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk beer, ranch powder, olive oil, and garlic
- Pour about 2/3 of the marinade over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (save the remaining 1/3 marinade in the refrigerator for later)
Parboil the Potatoes
- About 30 minutes before grilling, cut the potatoes into large chunks and cover the potatoes with water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil
- Turn off the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until the outside starts to soften but the centers are still hard
- Drain the potatoes and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking process
- If you are using bamboo skewers, soak for 20-30 minutes before preparing
- Heat the grill to a medium heat
- Alternate adding chicken and potatoes to the skewers until it’s all been used
- Grill the kabobs for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the temperature of the grill) until the chicken is cooked through and potatoes are crispy