Monday, July 11, 2011

BBQ Chicken Kebabs

I really enjoy BBQ chicken, but for some reason I don't have it that often. Now that I've had these though, I am about ready to make it a regular staple on the menu. Not only was this meal fairly simple, it was incredibly delicious!

The sauce comes together rather quickly with very basic ingredients that combine to make a perfectly sweetened and spiced concoction. Between that and the spice rub... wow, this is a winner. 

Now, I will tell you, Cooks Illustrated does a great job keeping these kebabs moist with another one of their unusual techniques. Gosh, I love them. Anyways, first they salt the chicken cubes, which ensures moisture. THEN! They puree bacon to rub onto the cubes along with the spices. This protects the chicken with a layer of fat that isn't overwhelming, but does a superb job of keeping the chicken from drying out. An idea that would have never crossed my mind when grilling chicken, but one that works very verrrry well. Plus! It adds extra flavor.

What can I say? These are amazing. 

BBQ Chicken Kebabs
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Print Recipe

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup light or mild molasses
2 Tb grated onion (using large holes of box grater)
2 Tb worcestershire sauce
2 Tb dijon mustard
2 Tb cider vinegar
1 Tb light brown sugar

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs (cut into 1 inch cubes)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tb sweet paprika
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp smoked paprika (or chili powder if unavailable)
2 slices bacon
4 skewers

Bring all the 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 to small bowl and set aside remaining sauce to serve with cooked chicken.

Toss chicken and salt in large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Turn grill to medium. 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 all ingredients are thoroughly blended and chicken is completely coated. Thread meat onto skewers, rolling or folding meat as necessary to maintain 1" cubes.

Place kebabs on grill, turning one-quarter turn every 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until well browned and slightly charred, 8 minutes for breasts and 10 minutes for thighs. Brush top surface of kebabs with 1/4 cup sauce; flip and cook until sauce is brown in spots, about 1 minute. Brush second side with remaining 1/4 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 from grill and let rest 5 minutes. Serve, passing reserved BBQ sauce separately.

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