Pinchos de Pollo

By Jimmy Kennedy, & Justin Brouillard
Cook Ambassadors

My first experience with pinchos de pollo was in Culebra, Puerto Rico. My family and I used to camp on Flamenco Beach there for a couple of weeks every year, and it was on our first trip when I realized that this was something I would be making for the rest of my life. We had arrived in the middle of the night to the beach, and by the time we had our camp set up the next morning, we were all starving. At the entrance to the campground there were a few vendors with carts, and the aroma of grilled food was quickly noticed. The pinchos were heavily marinated, grilled and served with rice and beans, and I’m pretty sure we ate most of their morning’s supply. This recipe is my version, and I think it’s pretty close to that morning’s feast. I’ve also made the pinchos with venison tenderloin, beef, fish and pork, and they are all incredibly good.

(Photo: Justin Broulliard)
(Photo: Justin Broulliard)
(Photo: Justin Broulliard)


  • 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into strips, or chicken tenderloins
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons adobo
  • 2 teaspoons ground oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Wooden skewers

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  1. Soak the skewers in water and set aside.  
  2. Place the chicken in a bowl or dish, preferably with a cover.
  3. In a food processor or with a mortar and pestle blend or mash the garlic and adobo until they have the consistency of a thick paste. Add the black pepper, oregano, olive oil and vinegar and blend or stir until it is well-mixed. 
  4. Pour the marinade over the chicken and let marinate for at least a couple of hours. I sometimes let it marinate overnight, and I always do with venison, beef or pork. 
  5. When the chicken is done marinating, remove it from the bowl or bag and thread a strip or tenderloin onto each skewer. Leave a couple of inches bare on both ends of each skewer. 
  6. Lay the chicken skewers on the grill or grate. It’s okay if they are touching, just make sure they are not overlapping. Grill them for 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is starting to turn a rich, golden brown and you have good grill marks. 
  7. When they are done, remove them from the heat and brush or pour on your favorite barbecue sauce. Top each skewer with a chunk of fresh bread or fried plantains. This part is optional but really good! 

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