Recipe for Chicken Shish Kebab On the Smoker

Recipe for Chicken Shish Kebab On the Smoker

Here is our tried and tested recipe for Chicken Shish Kebab on the Smoker. It’s an absolute show-stopper of any BBQ experience.

The word ‘shish,’ of course means skewer or spear in Turkish, and that’s how we are going to cook our chicken – authentically on a charcoal bbq grill with skewers. Spears are optional!

Completely delicious.

Serves 4-6 people.

Ingredients for Smoked Shish Kebab

  • 200 ml natural yoghurt 
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs or 4 medium sized chicken breasts (thigh meat will be juicier and cost less, but it’s up to you)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of Extra Hot Chilli Powder (more or less depending on your chilli tolerance!)

Ingredients for the Tzatziki

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 handful of fresh mint finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Serve

  • 1 red onion cut into half moon shapes
  • 1/2 an iceberg lettuce chopped into strips
  • 1/4 of red (or white) cabbage roughly chopped for crunch
  • 1 carrot chopped into strips or batons
  • A selection of breads – pitta bread and flatbread are the most authentic
  • Houmous (optional)
  • Chilli Sauce (optional) – we like Sriracha
  • Fresh chopped lemons to serve

How to Prepare White Cabbage for Kebabs

To make your white (or red) cabbage taste more like a kebab takeaway it’s a good idea to marinate it for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving. Simply place the sliced white cabbage in a ziplock bag along with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a little salt to taste, and a good glug of olive oil.

Shake up the sliced cabbage in the bag and leave it in the fridge for around half an hour.

Optional – add a little pinch of sugar according to taste.

Recipe for Chicken Shish Kebab on the Smoker Step 1 – Marinate Your Chicken

Put all your spices, finely chopped garlic, and olive oil in to your yoghurt. 

Now zest and juice your lemon into the yoghurt using a grater and lemon squeezer (for ease and avoiding wasting any juice). 

Cut your chicken thighs (or breasts if using) into cube shapes. If there are any bits of sinew or skin remove them as you go.

Add your cubes of chicken to the yoghurt and stir it all around to make sure your chicken is well covered in the marinade.

Now cover it and place it in the fridge for at least two hours, but preferably overnight.

Recipe for Chicken Shish Kebab on the Smoker Step 2 – Barbecuing the Kebabs

Get your barbecue on around 30minutes before you want to cook your chicken kebabs. The best way to light your bbq is by using a chimney starter which will concentrate the heat into the coals straight away, and keep it there.

If you would like to read our article ‘How to Light a BBQ,’ try here:

https://bbqsmokergrill.org/how-to-light-a-bbq/

Now place your marinated chicken pieces onto your skewers – around 4 cubes to each skewer. Depending on the size of your cubes and skewers you should have around 4-6 kebabs altogether.

Cook your kebabs directly on the grills of your barbecue for around 18-20 minutes, turning them around halfway through.

If you are concerned about them drying out brush them with a little olive oil or lemon juice. 

Your chicken should go a lovely colour and caramelise and char nicely on the outside, especially where the bits of marinade are.

The best way to know if your shish kebabs are cooked the whole way through is just to take a knife and cut one of your cubes in half to make sure the meat is white the whole way through, with no pink.

The marinade should keep the chicken moist in the middle, but make sure you don’t overcook them, or let them become too dry.

Recipe for Chicken Shish Kebab on the Smoker Step 3 – Make Your Tzatziki

About 10 minutes into your cooking you can start to prepare your tzatziki, veg and breads for serving. 

Start by making your tzatziki. Chop your cucumber and mint finely and add to the yoghurt.

Zest your lemon into the yoghurt, and then season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper. You may want to add in a little bit of chopped fresh garlic, but it is optional.

Recipe for Chicken Shish Kebab On the Smoker Step 4 – Finish up and Serve

We are nearly ready to serve now.

Here is a lovely garnish for our chicken shish kebabs.

Chop your cabbage, lettuce and carrot into strips, and your red onion into half moon shapes.

Now add a splash of lemon juice and olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper and salt. We like to add a little splash of honey for an edge of sweetness, but again this optional.

Warm up some pitta breads (depending on the number of your guests of course) on the barbecue while your kebabs are just finishing off cooking. 

Serve your kebabs on the skewers on a warm plate, and bring all your ingredients to the table.

Let your guests fill their pitta bread with the salad garnish, tzatziki and chicken themselves.

Have a little chilli sauce to hand if it suits your guests, and serve your kebabs with some chopped fresh lemons to squeeze over your food.

If you enjoyed this article you might like to read our ‘Smoked Chicken Wings Recipes.’

Or our ‘BBQ Recipes for Chicken,’ article.

For another fantastic recipe for chicken shish kebab on the smoker try here:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/basic-turkish-chicken-kebab-3274263

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