Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

BBQ Chicken Kebabs

I can't believe it. School is actually starting today! I have the same mixed feelings every year. Sadness that the lazy, fun and sometimes crazy  days of summer are over but also joy that I can reclaim my house, get the kids to bed at a decent hour and have my precious routine back! Right now with only my kindergartner and a really quiet house I'm really leaning toward the latter.

Even though summer vacation is over it's still hot here. Really hot. That translates into let's grill something and not heat up the house.

These bbq chicken kebabs are unlike any I've made before. The chicken is mixed with a bacon puree. Yes, pureed bacon. This not only contributes a fabulous element of flavor, but also keeps the chicken extra moist. They're also flavored with a rub of both sweet and spicy paprika (translation, yummy smoky flavor) and a delicious and easy bbq sauce.

These were a hit with the whole family.  The leftovers are perfect for dicing up and using on pizza, sandwiches, or quesadillas. 

BBQ Chicken Kebabs
Cooks Illustrated

*The recipe calls for either chicken thighs or breast. if you use both, make sure to put them on separate skewers as they will cook at different rates.


  • Sauce
  • 1/2cup ketchup
  • 1/4cup light or mild molasses
  • 2tablespoons grated onion (see note)
  • 2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Kebabs
  • 2pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 2teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 4teaspoons sugar
  • 2teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2slices bacon , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 412-inch metal skewers


  1. 1. FOR THE SAUCE: Bring all ingredients to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce reaches ketchup-like consistency and is reduced to about 1 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup sauce to small bowl and set aside remaining sauce to serve with cooked chicken.
  2. 2. FOR THE KEBABS: Toss chicken and salt in large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  3. 3. Turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape cooking grate clean with grill brush. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
  4. 4. While grill heats, pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine sweet paprika, sugar, and smoked paprika in small bowl. Process bacon in food processor until smooth paste forms, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl twice during processing. Add bacon paste and spice mixture to chicken; mix with hands or rubber spatula until ingredients are thoroughly blended and chicken is completely coated. Thread meat onto skewers, rolling or folding meat as necessary to maintain 1-inch cubes.
  5. 5. Place kebabs over primary burner and grill, covered, turning one-quarter turn every 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until well browned and slightly charred, 8 minutes for breasts or 10 minutes for thighs. (If flare-ups occur, slide kebabs to cool side of grill until fire dies down.) Brush top surface of kebabs with ¼ cup sauce; flip and cook until sauce is brown in spots, about 1 minute. Brush second side with remaining ¼ cup sauce; flip and continue to cook until brown in spots and instant-read thermometer inserted in center of meat registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 degrees for thighs, about 1 minute longer. Remove kebabs from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve, passing reserved barbecue sauce separately.

    Posted by: Sallie
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