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Grilled BBQ Chicken Kebabs


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  • Grilled Barbecued Chicken Kebabs
  • adapted from Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2011
  • serves 6
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses or honey
  • 2 Tbs grated onion (grated on the large wholes of a box grater)
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • Kebabs
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs sweet paprika
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • skewers


Servings 6
Adapted from


Step 1

For the sauce, bring all the ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and reaches a ketchup-like consistency and is reduced to about 1 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer 1/2 cup of the sauce to a small bowl and set aside to serve with the cooked chicken.

For the kebabs, toss the chicken with the salt in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.

For a gas grill, turn all the burners to high, close the lid, and heat 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Combine the paprikas, sugar, and cayenne in a small bowl.

Process the bacon in a food processor until a smooth paste forms, 30-45 seconds, scraping down the bowl twice during processing. Add the bacon paste and the spice mixture to the chicken and toss to coat using your hands or a rubber spatula. Thread the meat onto skewers, rolling or foldin meat as necessary to maintain 1-inch cubes.

Scrape the cooking grate clean with a grill brush. Leave the primary burner on high and turn off the other burners. Place the kebabs over the hot burner and grill, covered, turning one-quarter of a turn every 2 minutes or so, until well browned and slightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes.

Brush the top surface of the kebabs with 1/4 cup sauce; flip and cook until the sauce is browned in spots, about 1-2 minutes. Flip again and brush with remainign 1/4 cup sauce; continue to cook until browned in spots and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.

Remove from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve, passing barbecue sauce separately.

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