Chili-Agave Grilled Chicken, Steak & Fish Skewers

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5ebae67be761   •  15 May   •  Report
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4 dried poblano chilies

4 New Mexican chilies

2 dried chipotle chilies

2 cups cold water

¼ cup raw agave syrup

½ cup lime juice

Zest of 2 limes

6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

2 green onions, white and light green parts only, finely sliced

2 tablespoons whole coriander, toasted

1 teaspoons toasted fennel seed

1 ½ lbs. total combination of tilapia filets, chicken breast or chicken thighs and/or flank steak or skirt steak

1 teaspoon kosher salt

16-20 skewers (about least 6 inches long)

Grapeseed oil, for greasing grill pan

Lime wedges, for garnish



Use scissors to cut the tops off the dried chilies. Discard the stems and seeds. Cut the larger chilies into quarters. Place all chilies in a large glass bowl and cover with the 2 cups of cold water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until chilies have softened. (If you don’t have a microwave, place chilies in a medium pot and add the 2 cups of water. Place over medium-high heat until the chilies have softened, 5 to 6 minutes, lowering the heat to a low simmer if it comes to a boil.)


Remove the softened chilies from the water and transfer to a food processor; reserve the chili soaking liquid. Strain the soaking liquid and add ¾ cup of it along with the agave syrup, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, green onion, coriander and fennel seed. Pulse the food processor until mixture is broken down and incorporated, but not all the way to a purée. There should still be some body to it. Cool completely in the refrigerator. Set aside ¾ cup for coating in the proteins.


Cut the fish, chicken or steak into pieces about 4-inches long by ¾ to 1-inch wide. Drain the skewers from the water. Pierce each piece of protein lengthwise with the skewer. Place the proteins in a baking dish big enough to hold the fish, chicken or steak in a single layer. Rub or brush them all over with a good coating of the marinade. Avoid brushing any marinade onto the exposed skewer. Reserve excess marinade Black Valentine Beans and Lime-Crema. Cover the proteins and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-2 hours. It is ideal to soak the skewers for at least 24 hours before using so that they do not burn during the cooking process, but soaking them for a few hours should do the trick.


Meanwhile, soak the skewers in cold water.


Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Transfer the protein from the marinade to a rack and use a pastry brush to brush off excess marinade, season with salt.


Grill the chicken and beef (with no oil on the grill) and cook for 4-5 minutes. Then flip the proteins and cook for another 4-5 minutes. The chicken may take a few minutes longer than the steak.


If cooking fish, clean the grill pan off and brush the grill (or grill pan) with a light coating of grapeseed oil by applying with an oil-dipped towel. Add fish to the grill and cook for 3 ½ minutes. Flip over and grill the other side for 1-2 minutes more, or until the fish is cooked through. Use a cake tester to tell when it is done. Insert a cake tester into the middle of the fillet, when it comes out warm to the touch, the fish is done. Carefully remove the fish from the pan using a fish spatula.


Garnish protein skewers with lime.


Marinade will keep for two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

View instructions at
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