Big barbecue chicken kebab

Barbecuing for more than four people? Prepare a large chicken kebab to carve, then the cooking is done in one go – and you can enjoy the party

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
    plus at least 1 hr marinating
  • Serves 8
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 368
  • fat 27g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 10g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 21g
  • salt 1.2g


  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 500g Greek yogurt
  • 2 lemons, juiced, ½ lemon zested
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely grated or crushed
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 red onions, halved and finely sliced
  • 4 tomatoes (plum work well) halved and sliced


COOK IT IN THE OVEN Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8. Sit the kebab across a roasting tin so it is suspended, or rest a wire rack over a roasting tin and place the chicken on top. Cook for 45-55 mins or until cooked through.
ADD ONIONThreading the chicken onto the two skewers at once can be a bit fiddly. To hold the skewers in place, you can start and finish with something more solid like half an onion or a thick slice of potato.
USE YOUR LEFTOVERSToss any cut-up leftover red onions, tomatoes and shredded barbecued chicken through cold cooked pasta along with some feta. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Serve any leftover tzatiki on the side.


  1. First, whisk all the marinade ingredients together with 1 tsp salt in a large bowl or, better still, a large plastic container that has a lid. Open out each chicken thigh, cover with a piece of baking parchment and flatten it with your hand, then lift off the paper and cut the thigh in half. Tip into the marinade and mix so it’s completely coated. Cover, chill and marinate for at least 1 hr or up to 24 hrs – the longer, the better.

  2. Thread all the chicken onto two skewers so that both skewers go through each piece of meat, packing down tightly as you go to make a compact kebab (see tip, below).

  3. Light a lidded barbecue, and let the flames die down. Once the coals have turned ashen, pile them up on one side with a single layer of coals scattered around the other side. Lay the chicken kebab on the side of the barbecue with only a few coals underneath. Put the lid down and cook for 45 mins, turning every 15 mins. To finish, lift the lid and roll the kebab over to the hotter side to char the meat, turning it every few minutes until well browned and cooked through. Prise the chicken pieces apart in the centre to check they’re cooked, or use a digital cooking thermometer – it should read 70C or more. Leave to rest for 5-10 mins while you cook the pittas (see recipe, opposite). Bring the kebab to the table and carve into thin slices with a serrated knife. Pile the carved meat into the warm pittas, then the sliced red onions and tomatoes, chips and tzatziki (see our recipes, below).

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