Chicken Kebabs.

Vietnamese food
This recipe adapted from America’s test kitchen Chicken Kebabs.  A unusual interesting ingredients here is bacon paste to keep chicken moist.  No brine needed.  The large amount of Paprika powder giving chicken an attractive flavorful reddish hue.  This recipe calls for 6 servings but  it makes 8 servings for us.  I did not wipe the chicken before coating them with  bacon paste so they did not adhere well to the chicken so I shmeared 1/2 of them on top of chicken at the end, close the lid, grill for 1 minutes.  Baste with the sauce, then turn the bacon side down and repeat with other side-schmear bacon paste, cook, baste, turn.  I made 1/2 amount of the sauce which was enough to coat both sides of the chicken well. Onion can be coarsely chopped and smashed with a pestle and mortar.  I added fresh minced garlic to the sauce and garlic powder to the coating spice mixture.  I had a small portable Weber gas grill so I use 10 inch wood skewers instead of 12 inch ones and I did not need to soak the wood skewers.  Serve with potato salad and other side dish.  I usually cut each large chicken thigh into 6 pieces after removing bone and skin, then freeze them on a baking tray lined with plastic.
Make 6-8 servings


  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbs light or mild molasses
  • 2 Tbs grated yellow onion or shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbs light brown sugar


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces or smaller
  • 8 10-inch wood skewers

The sauce:  add all ingredients of the sauce in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat down to simmer, stir constantly until thickened like ketchup consistency.  Remove from heat. Cover until use.

The kebabs:  
  1. Trim excess fat and cut chicken into 1 inch cubes or if you like thinner pieces, you can cut each cube in halves (1 inch x 1 inch x ½ inch thick ). Toss chicken pieces with salt and garlic powder in a bowl, cover and let it sits in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Preheat the grill as manual instruction ( 5 minutes with cover on high with mine) 
  3. While the grill heating, puree bacon with a food processor into a paste.  Combine sweet, smoked paprika, sugar, in a bowl, adding bacon paste and mix well.  Wipe chicken well with paper towel.  Using hands to coat chicken pieces with spice/bacon paste.  Thread chicken onto skewers.  These thinner pieces can be rolled or fold into 1 inch thick or 1/2 inch thick. Try to make the thickness even because it will affect cooking time.  Do not thread the chicken too tight together.  
  4. Cook on lowest setting for 2 minutes on each side with the lid down until well browned and slightly charred.  The 1/2 inch thick pieces cook faster (about 6 minutes total:  3 minutes on each side).  Brush 1/2 of of the sauce on the top of chicken, turn, cover and cook for 1 minutes.  Turn the other side up and brush the remaining sauce to it, turn it down and cook for 1 more minutes. Check the temperature at the center at least 160 for breast and 165 oF to 175 oF for thighs. Cut one thickest piece at the center and check if you do not have a grill thermometer.  Recheck after every minutes until done.  Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

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