Want to cook something a little bit different on the BBQ this year? Why not try my Chicken Shish Kebabs – cubes of chicken (thigh or breast) coated in a mixture of yogurt, garlic and spices and barbecued to perfection (or grilled, or griddled if you prefer!).
Well, we are experiencing here is the UK, what can only be described as a ‘heatwave’ – that is to say, it’s not raining, the sun is shining, everyone is moaning it’s too hot and people all around are looking decidedly pink. In other countries this is obviously just called ‘summer’… or possibly ‘spring’ (except remove the moaning and replace the pink with a nice shade of brown instead).
Now in the UK we are well known for getting the BBQ out at the merest glimpse of sun… but with so many hot days in a row I’m guessing everyone is getting a tad bored of the burger and sausage routine and is looking for an few interesting alternatives, amiright?
Enter my easy peasy Chicken Shish Kebabs! These babies look amazing, taste amazing, sound really rather fancy, but are in fact SUPER SIMPLE!!
All you need to do is mix a few spices, some yogurt, some chilli and some garlic – add your diced chicken, leave to marinate (if you have time) and then thread onto skewers and barbecue for 10 minutes, turning a couple of times – simples!
If the weather is not playing ball, then these work just as well grilled (broiled) or on cooked on a griddle pan. In fact, the ones for this photo shoot were actually done under the grill.
These would also be a brilliant option if you are invited to a BYOM BBQ party (Bring Your Own Meat) as they look and taste fancy, but are actually very quick and easy to do. (Don’t worry I won’t tell!)
You can use chicken breast or thigh in this recipe, but I would really recommend thigh. It’s won’t dry out, it is more forgiving if it gets cooked a bit longer than ideal, and is cheaper too. The slightly stronger taste also stands up better to the chilli and spices.
You could absolutely use a different meat too, if you prefer. Turkey, lamb, beef and pork would all work very well with this super versatile marinade.
If you want to make these Chicken Shish Kebabs a bit cheaper and make the meat go further you could alternate meat with veggies such as onions, peppers and mushrooms on the skewer.
You can serve these Chicken Shish Kebabs how you like, but I like to serve them with flatbreads or pittas, lettuce, tzatziki, quick pickled red onions and pomegranate seeds. But if that’s all a bit faffy, just pittas, lettuce and tzatziki would still be good!
I would personally serve white wine with these Chicken Shish Kebabs. A lightly oaked chardonnay, a zesty Sauvignon Blanc or a dry(ish) Riesling would be my choice. If it’s got to be red, go for something like a Cotes du Rhone, a Grenache based red (or rosé) from the South of France or a Rioja Crianza from Spain. Though I realise for a lot of people there is only one choice to go with a kebab…and that’s larger!
If you like these Chicken Shish Kebabs, you might also like my Greek Style Lamb Kebabs and my Easy Chicken Shawarma. These Chicken Shish Kebabs would also go beatifully with my Easy Tabbouleh Salad or my Persian Style Jewelled Rice. If you want to try your hand at making your own flatbreads, you might want to try my 2 Ingredient Yogurt Flatbreads.
Chicken Shish Kebabs
Chicken Shish Kebabs
- 125 g Greek yogurt
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (more if you like things hot!)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- Salt and pepper
- 800 g skinless, boneless chicken thigh (or breast) cut into bitesize pieces
- 4 metal skewers (if you use wooden ones remember to soak in water first)
- Your choice or flatbreads, pittas, lettuce, tzatziki, onions and pomegranate seeds – or whatever you like!
- Mix together the yogurt, spices, chilli flakes, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the diced chicken and turn to coat thoroughly. Ideally marinate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours (covered in the fridge). But if you haven’t got time just carry on with the recipe.
- Prepare the barbecue or heat the grill (broiler).
- Thread the chicken onto the skewers.
- Cook the chicken for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through in the middle and charred in places on the outside. Turn the kebabs a few times on the BBQ or under the grill to get the kebabs evenly cooked.
- Serve with flatbreads, pittas, lettuce, tzatziki, onions and pomegranate seeds – or whatever you like!
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