Grilled Marinated Chicken Kebabs

Chicken marinated in yogurt is so tender and flavorful, especially grilled for a summer meal. These chicken kebabs are perfect for the summer grilling season: simply marinate skinless, boneless chicken (breast or thigh meat), thread on metal or wooden skewers, and char-grill over medium high heat. Be sure to remove the chicken from the skewers and serve on a platter—much easier to eat than serving a skewer (we’ve all been there: trying to gracefully remove meat from a skewer on our plate…). Serve with toum garlic sauce or drizzle with a simple sauce made of yogurt seasoned with garlic and dried mint. Perfect sides: tabbouleh, Lebanese potato salad, fattoush, tomato cucumber salad, rice, and grilled or roasted vegetables.

Grilled marinated chicken kebabs on a vintage blue platter, from Maureen Abood.

Marinated chicken and red onion threaded on skewers, ready for the grill!

Grilled chicken kebabs, ready to be plated and served!

Grilled Marinated Chicken Kebabs

Maureen Abood
Grilled marinated chicken kebabs are a Lebanese tradition, served with toum garlic sauce or a simple seasoned yogurt sauce. I love this recipe because the chicken is so juicy and delicious from the flavorful yogurt marinade. Use long metal or wooden skewers--soaking the wooden skewers in water helps prevent them from catching fire over the grill flame. Be sure to plan ahead so the chicken can marinate for 8 to 24 hours. I often double this recipe...people eat it up and lots of it! The chicken is delicious served over rice, with salads like tabbouleh, fattoush, and Lebanese potato salad.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 medium sweet onion, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 2 large red onions, cut in wedges

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, onion, mint, salt, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to one day.
  • Heat the grill to medium-high or, to broil in the oven, turn the broiler on medium.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off most of the marinade. Place the chicken on a paper-towel lined sheet pan and pat dry with more paper towel. This is a messy deal, but worth it!
  • Thread skewers with chicken pieces and onion wedges.
  • Grill the chicken over medium-high heat, turning the skewers for even cooking, for about 12 minutes or until the chicken is charred in places and cooked through. If you're broiling in the oven, be sure the rack isn't too close to the broiler to prevent burning. Broil for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and charred in places.
  • Use a large fork to push the cooked meat and onion off the skewers onto a large serving platter, and serve immediately.

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6 Comments

  1. JACK b on May 20, 2019 at 8:26 PM

    When cooking in the oven can the chicken & onions be arranged in a pan & baked rather than broiled on a skewer ?. And at what temp & for how long?.

    • Maureen Abood on May 21, 2019 at 10:15 AM

      Yes, bake the chicken in the oven preheated at 400 degrees in a single layer, not too close together, on nonstick foil or silpat-lined sheet pan. The breast meat overcooks easily, so watch closely for doneness (165 degrees internal temperature of the chicken; I haven’t tested this method so I’m guesstimating at about 15 minutes). To get the charred edges, try broiling toward the end of baking time.

  2. Katie on January 12, 2022 at 10:54 AM

    Would Greek yogurt be okay to use instead of whole milk?

    • Maureen Abood on January 12, 2022 at 11:01 AM

      Yes, Greek yogurt is one version of whole milk yogurt, as is labneh. Plain yogurt also works!

  3. Jackie on January 12, 2022 at 1:31 PM

    Ok to use Laban instead or would that be too tangy?

    • Maureen Abood on January 12, 2022 at 1:33 PM

      Laban is perfect here!

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I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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