It’s summertime across the USA right now and people are desperate to figure out a different way to grill something outside so it doesn’t heat up the house. One of the easiest meals I make in the summer is sticking chicken meat on skewers with some vegetables. Growing up we called them Kabobs but there are really called Kebabs in most middle eastern countries. Other countries call it Satay. Just about every culture has a version of this dish where you grill meat on a stick. I guess Trader Joe’s decided to call these Skewers.
But these aren’t just “skewers” they are “heat and serve” Chimichurri skewers that are frozen and pre-cooked. They are also made with chicken thigh meat which, in my humble opinion, is much better for grilling than breast meat because it doesn’t dry out.
As you can see there are six short skewers. The whole package is 10.5 ounces so that puts each skewer at a miserly 1.75 ounces but if you eat three of them, that’s about five ounces of meat, which is about all anyone really needs in a meal.
What is Chimichurri Sauce?
Let’s back up and talk about what Chimichurri Sauce is and how it’s used. Chimichurri is a pretty simple sauce that anyone can make, it consists of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar. It originated in Argentina, but there are similar sauces in Spain and Portugal so it is likely a derivative of one of those sauces.
It is used three ways when you make grilled meats and it is used on everything from steak to chicken to fish. You can use it as a marinade. You can use it as a basting sauce and then when you serve the meat, many times you will see a bowl of it sitting on the table to drizzle on your food. It is quite versatile. You can even use it on vegetables as a garnish.
How to Prepare Trader Joe’s Grilled Chimichurri Chicken Thigh Skewers
Trader Joe’s lists these three methods to prepare these chicken skewers, but for this review I fired up my gas grill and cooked them that way. Just remember these are pre-cooked and you only need to get them hot without prolonged cooking time because that will just dry them out and make them chewy. I just turned on my gas grill on a low setting and just let them heat through about 10 minutes and they cooked perfectly.
HEATING INSTRUCTIONS HEAT FROM FROZEN
GRILL (preferred method): Brush the grill with vegetable oil and heat to medium. Place skewers on the grill and heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. Turn to heat evenly.
CONVENTIONAL OVEN: Preheat oven to 400 F. Place skewers on a baking sheet and heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn halfway through the heating. Remove from oven and let stand for 1 or 2 minutes before serving.
MICROWAVE (1200 watt): Microwave times may vary depending on oven wattage. Place 2 skewers on a microwave-safe dish. Heat on high for 3 minutes or until hot. Let stand for 1 or 2 minutes before serving.
What to serve with Trader Joe’s Grilled Chimichurri Chicken Thigh Skewers
I like to keep it pretty simple when serving side dishes with these skewers. Cooked herbed rice, grilled vegetables, potato salad, things you would serve with any barbeque meal.
My Final Thoughts
At $7.49 per box, these are on the more expensive side for Trader Joe’s but there is a lot going for them. You don’t have to make Chimichurri sauce, marinate the chicken, and worst part, sticking raw chicken on a skewer.
They claim that there are only 420 calories per box. I didn’t believe that 10.5 ounces of chicken was only 420 calories and it’s not. According to the USDA, 1 ounce of chicken meat is 68 calories so there would be 714 calories per package. That’s a huge difference in calories listed on their box. Just something to be aware of.
But how did they taste? I really like them. Nothing easier than opening a box of frozen chicken skewers and throwing them on the grill for a few minutes. For a really quick meal, find some vegetables or starch in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s to serve alongside the meat. The meat was tender and on the grill got some nice crispy edges. The chicken was well seasoned and I could taste the Chimichurri marinade. It was a very delightful dish.
At the end of the day, I am going to rate this 8 bells!
BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN THIGH, WATER, OLIVE OIL, POTATO STARCH, SPICES, SEA SALT, SUGAR, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, VINEGAR POWDER, DRIED GARLIC, DEHYDRATED RED BELL PEPPER, YEAST EXTRACT, MALTODEXTRIN, LEMON JUICE SOLIDS, NATURAL FLAVOR, PAPRIKA OLEORESIN (COLOR), CANOLA OIL