I have had chicken cooked hundreds of ways in my life, but this is by far the best chicken I have had in a looooong time.
Mesquite Chicken Sticks are grill ready chicken tenders with a kick of mesquite flavor.
Honey and a stout beer….in my case Guinness, make for a sweet flavorful marinade. Add some red pepper flakes for heat…..we love heat in this house!!
These really couldn’t be easier to make. The marinade comes together in a matter of minutes. I pounded the chicken tenders out a bit, to make them easier to thread on the skewers. If you have your lazy pants on you can skip this step.
Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes or you will have burnt sticks…….those babies will burn like kindling. Same goes for the mesquite chips……if you don’t soak them they will burn up in flash and ………no smoke! You want the smoke!!!!
Just what is mesquite you ask…………Mesquite is a hardwood that comes from a tree that is cut into chips and used in smoking processes to add flavor to foods. Mesquite chips, give foods a slightly sweet earthy and smoky flavor.
So, where do you buy mesquite chips…..almost anywhere that sells charcoal has wood chips for smoking. You can use the wood chips on either a charcoal or gas grill.
For charcoal just add the chips to the coals after they are hot. Lay them gently….that means do not just toss them on the coals, they will break those beautiful coals apart and you will lose heat. How do I know……a case of dumbassery ……in other words I did it!
If you have a gas grill you can either buy a smoker box. Cool contraption…….a box with holes all over that you put the chips in and place in your grill. Or you can do the down home version….tin foil – double sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Wrap the wood chips in the foil.
Poke a few pencil-size holes in the foil. Place the foil pouch under the cooking grid on one of the hot burners on one side until you see smoke. Reduce the heat to the burner once it starts to smoke.
Leave your grill vents open if you are ‘smoking’ for the first time. Smoked food flavor is subjective, what one person likes may not suite another. Too much smoke can ruin the experience altogether.
The chicken only took a few minutes to cook. Add the glaze…aka reduced marinade during the last few minutes. Watch them carefully, as they will burn easily with the honey from the marinade.
We served Mesquite Chicken Sticks with Italian Grilled Corn…..look for that recipes later this week.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup beer ( I used Guinness )
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic pepper
- 2 green onions sliced thin
- 1-1½ pounds chicken tenders, pounded lightly
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- 2 cups mesquite chips, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, honey, beer red pepper flakes, mustard, soy sauce and garlic pepper. Add the chicken tenders, refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Soak wooden skewers in cold water for about 30 minutes prior to grilling. This keeps skewers from burning.
- Remove the chicken tenders from marinade, reserving the marinade.
- Thread the chicken through wooden skewers in a zig zag pattern. I put two pieces on each skewer.
- In a small pan over medium high heat, add marinade and boil, reduce marinade to a thick syrupy consistency. Remove form heat and add green onions. Set aside.
- Prepare grill to medium high. If using charcoal, place drained mesquite chips over coals, if using a gas grill place chips in a smoker box or on a piece of tin foil and place in grill. Close grill for a few minutes to let it get smokey.
- Spray prepared chicken with non stick cooking spray. Place chicken on grill. Grill each side for about 2 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade and turn every 2-4 minutes until cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Watch carefully as they will burn easily. Remove from
- Sprinkle with parsley for garnish.