Grilled Chicken Kebabs – Куриные Шашлыки

Grilled Chicken Kebabs -1-6 copyWhen Russians grill, there’s about a 95% chance or more that shishkebabs will be on the menu. Chunks of meat speared on a skewered and cooked over an open flame are almost like a sport or a recreation that has its own name. We even invite friends over in the summer by saying “let’s go kebabing”, давай соберемся на шашлыки.

It’s a beautiful tradition, sitting around a campfire, the cooking kebabs filling the air with the wonderful aroma of roasting meat, everyone talking, laughing, eating and even singing. Summer is a time of year to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Most people do their best to avoid spending hours in the kitchen, bent over a hot stove.

Kebabs are a smart way to go since you chop up some meat, let it marinate and then simply throw on the grill. There’s a minimum amount of prep and cleanup and the opportunity to spend more time in the sunshine and fresh air.

In our family, we have always been partial to chicken kebabs. They are a very frugal choice, but most of all, we love how juicy and moist the delicate meat turns out to be. I like to add some lemon juice and mayo to the marinade. The lemon juice adds a brightness and acidity while the mayo coats the meat. It helps the seasoning to stick to the meat while at the same time keeps it moist. I like a little bit of garlic and onion, but only enough to add great flavor, but not to overpower it.

I love the flavor of meat cooked over a fire. When you bite into the juicy and moist meat, you can taste the charred and smoky flavor permeating it all the way through each bite. The best part of the party is inviting your favorite people over for a party. Bonding over food in the “wilderness” or at least a backyard with a grill is a way to build memories that will last a lifetime.

Yields: about 10 kebabs

Ingredients:

6 chicken breast halves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2  Tablespoon chicken seasoning

1 garlic clove, minced

1 very small onion, grated

1 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions:

Chop the chicken breasts into 1 1/2 – 2 inch chunks. Add the salt, pepper, chicken seasoning, garlic, onion, mayonnaise and lemon juice. 

Mix until well combined. Marinate for at least half an hour, preferably overnight. If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for about 20 minutes, so the water soaks into the wood. This will prevent the skewers from burning too quickly.

Thread the meat onto the skewers. You want the meat to be close together, but not smooshed in too tightly. A glass casserole dish is a perfect vessel to carry the skewers to the grill, the perfect size, and shape. Just make sure to put the cooked kebabs in another dish, so you don’t contaminate your food. You definitely, don’t want people getting sick. 
Grilled Chicken Kebabs -1 copyPreheat the grill to high heat. Soak a paper towel/regular towel in oil, and holding it with tongs, coat the grill grates well with oil, at least five times.

Place the kebabs on the grill and grill for about 5-8 minutes per side. The outside of the meat should be charred but still juicy inside.

One of the tricks that I have for kebabs to check for doneness is taking off the end piece of meat to pop in my mouth. If it’s not pink in the center, take off the grill. Remember, the outside one will cook faster than the middle pieces of meat, but you should have a very good idea of the doneness of the meat by doing this. Pair this with a baked potato and fresh tomato salad and this is the ultimate outdoor dinner. Grilled Chicken Kebabs -1-3 copy

Grilled Chicken Kebabs -1-5 copy

Grilled Chicken Kebabs - Куриные Шашлыки
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 10 kebabs
Ingredients
  • 6 chicken breast halves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ Tablespoon chicken seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 very small onion, grated
  • 1½ Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Chop the chicken breasts into 1½ - 2 inch chunks.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, chicken seasoning, garlic, onion, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix until well combined. Marinate for at least half an hour, preferably overnight. If you're using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for about 20 minutes, so the water soaks into the wood. This will prevent the skewers from burning too quickly.
  3. Thread the meat onto the skewers. You want the meat to be close together, but not smooshed in too tightly.
  4. Preheat the grill to high heat. Soak a paper towel in oil, and holding it with tongs, coat the grill grates well with oil, at least five times.
  5. Place the kebabs on the grill and grill for about 5-8 minutes per side.keeping the heat on medium high, more on the high side. The outside of the meat should be charred but still juicy inside.
Notes
One of the tricks that I have for kebabs to check for doneness is taking off the end piece of meat to pop in my mouth. If it's not pink in the center, take off the grill. Remember, the outside one will cook faster than the middle pieces of meat, but you should have a very good idea of the doneness of the meat by doing this. Pair this with a baked potato and fresh tomato salad and this is the ultimate outdoor dinner.

Grilled Chicken Kebabs -1-6 copy

14 Comments

  • Tanya

    Olya, Thank you sooooooo much for this recipe! I made it yesterday for my daughter’s Birthday and it was so easy and huge hit. We made extra and saved for the next day, and they were even more flavorful. Thank you, again and again. This is my first time ever doing shashlik and it turned out very yummy. All of the guests just loved it and said that this is very, very good. I followed your recipe exactly as you wrote, except I added big pieces of onion in addition to shredding them. Thank you for another great success in the kitchen! I feel as if I’m growing wings with all of the successes I’ve had with your recipes and I am feeling confident as I try your new recipes. Thank you and May God bless you and enrich your talents even more. -Tanya

    • olgak7

      Yay! That’s awesome, Tanya! We love shashliki and make them A LOT. I’m so glad you and all your guests enjoyed them. I make them with onion pieces most of the time too:). Last time I made shashliki I made vegetable kebabs on the side with zucchini, peppers and onions and we loved that too.

  • Yelena

    This recipe sounds soo good! Although I don’t have a lemon press. I have actually been thinking about getting one, would you recommend one? Thanks.

    • olgak7

      I love my lemon press! I use lemons all the time, though. It squeezes out every last drop of juice from the lemon. If you don’t use lemons very often, you can just some girl power and give it a good squeeze. Roll the lemon around on the counter, pressing on it lightly, before you cut it open. This bursts all the tiny cells in the lemon, and makes the juice come out much more freely.

        • olgak7

          Yep, AMCO. It is wonderful. I don’t like to have too much clutter, with useless tools, so I keep it at a minimum. I only buy tools that I use all the time:). This one is great. I use it to squeeze limes and smaller oranges too.

  • Maria

    This recipe sounds great. Two questions: 1) how much lemon juice should be added (as I don’t see the amount listed under ingredients; 2) can chicken thighs be substituted for chicken breasts?

  • tanya

    making this for tonight. marinading in the fridge right now. i can’t wait to have some!! this one i know will make all my kids happy. thank you!!

  • Nataly

    Hi, Olga! I’m going to use this recipe for my girls birthday party, since we don’t have grill, (we usually grill only with charcoal), and my husband won’t be at the party, I wonder if there is a way of baking in the oven??? I know the taste won’t be the same, but that’s the situation;)

    • olgak7

      I would recommend using the broiler, if you want to make the kebabs indoors, Nataly. I have a recipe here.
      Also, I would recommend using chicken thigh meat instead of chicken breast, since you will be able to cook the meat longer and get a better char on them, without drying out the meat too much. Chicken breast gets dry very quickly, so I usually prefer using dark meat if I need to cook it longer. I hope your birthday party goes well! Have fun.

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