Though Labor Day has passed and we are just wrapping up the first week of September, I am holding on to summer as long as possible. That means grilling as many meals as I can in the backyard while drinking all the rosé. If your grill game is a little tired after a summer of BBQ’s, then you need these spiced chicken kebabs in your BBQ lineup and in your life in general. Paired with a Grenache rosé, you’ll be taking a post-summer vacay to flavor town a la Guy Fieri.
Personally, I enjoy rosé all year long, leaving the idea of a “rosé season” behind. It’s a lifestyle, baby. There are SO many styles of rosé to choose from since rosé can be produced with a virtually limitless number of varieties. That also means seemingly endless rosé pairing options, too!
September is my last month in hot AF Texas with the family before heading to Europe. So, I decided I will be exploring a different style of rosé each weekend because, well, why not?
Rosé of Grenache
Grenache rosés are popular the world over, though especially so in countries where Grenache is widely grown, such as Spain and France. In Provence, Grenache is one of the most used varieties in the ever-popular Provençal rosés. Throughout northern Spain, Grenache is used in rosé known as Garnacha Rosado.
A rosé of Grenache tends towards moderately high acidity, more body than other types of rosé, and a brilliant ruby red hue, depending on the winemaking style, of course. Typical aromatics and flavor characteristics of Grenache rosé include strawberry, orange or orange peel, allspice, hibiscus, and other dried flowers. Grenache rosé is best served quite cold, as the zesty notes will be better able to shine at cooler temperatures.
Spiced Chicken Kebabs & Grenache Rosé
Grenache pairs very well with aromatic spices and nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, red pepper, etc. That makes Grenache rosé the perfect pairing for all sorts of ethnic cuisines, like those of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India, and more. We’re talking dishes like gyros doused in tzatziki boasting loads of cucumber and dill, piri piri chicken from Mozambique, chicken tika masala or saag paneer. All the perfect pairing for a Grenache rosé.
Why? Because the naturally fruity notes and acidity of Grenache rosé complement the savory spices of these types of cuisine, which in turn highlight the wine’s notes of allspice. Most Grenache rosé is produced dry, so the wine itself seems quite savory to the palate. The savory aspect and bigger body of Grenache rosé allow the wine to stand up to the bolder flavors and aromatic herbs used in these types of cuisine without falling into the background.
I created these spiced chicken kebabs specifically to be enjoyed alongside a Grenache rosé. They are super easy to prepare, as long as you have the right spices on hand and can plan at least two hours ahead. The longer the chicken marinates with the aromatic spices, the more flavorful the end result will be. I enjoy serving the kebabs in a Mediterranean style bowl with basmati rice, homemade tzatziki, a tabbouleh inspired salad, and some feta cheese. The kebabs would also be delicious served on pitas with all of the accoutrements and equally as good over a Greek salad. Just don’t forget the Grenache rosé!
The incredibly flavorful aromatic spices, including turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and ginger, are the perfect match to the savory allspice and dried floral notes of the rosé. These aromatic spices also heighten the wine’s savory aspects while bringing the orange and strawberry flavors to the forefront of the wine.
The kebabs should definitely be served alongside tzatziki, though I’d serve just about anything with tzatziki if I could. The tangy Greek yogurt matches the zesty acidity of the wine and also freshens the palate from the bold flavors of the spiced chicken kebabs. The tzatziki’s fresh flavors of dill, cucumber, and lemon enliven the kebabs even further and enhance the zesty orange and fruit characteristics of the Grenache rosé. The tabbouleh inspired salad also makes the perfect pairing, as it’s packed with aromatic fresh herbs, tangy acidity from fresh lemon and lime juice, and juicy tomatoes.
Whether you enjoy these spiced chicken kebabs over basmati rice or in a warm pita, don’t forget to slather with tzatziki, top with tabbouleh salad, crumble some feta over it all, and pour yourself a glass of cold Grenache rosé to tie everything together.
Tell me your thoughts on this pairing in the comments below! If you make my spiced chicken kebabs, I’d love to see your culinary creation. So snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. (@palm.and.vine)
These spiced chicken kebabs are bursting with flavor from aromatic spices. Best served over basmati rice or in a warmed pita with fresh tzatziki and a glass of Grenache rosé.
- 2 lbs organic chicken breast, cut into large cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- juice of 1 lemon
Cut the chicken breasts (about 4) into large cubes as evenly as possible
Whisk all of the other ingredients together in a bowl until combined.
Place the chicken into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Massage into the chicken to coat every piece. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least two hours. Can marinate for up to 2 days.
Skewer the chicken on to the wooden skewers to form kebabs. Grill on the barbecue over medium to high heat for about 10-15 minutes, turning the kebabs every 3 minutes so they cook evenly on all sides.
Serve over basmati rice or on warm pitas with tzatziki and tabouleh or Greek salad.