Chicken Kebab Recipe

A Malaysian chicken kebab recipe made with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard!

Mr. Tabletop Cook is really into turmeric lately because it has a lot of health benefits, so I wanted to find him a chicken kebab recipe that used turmeric. The best thing about this recipe is that I didn’t even have to do any extra trips to the grocery store before we started cooking because we had everything on hand already. It’s just honey, soy sauce, garlic, turmeric, salt, and some cayenne pepper to taste.

Chicken kebab recipe

In a pinch, you could make it without the turmeric and it would still be very delicious. But before you decide to leave it out, you might want to check out this list of health benefits associated with turmeric. It’s an anti-inflammatory, a useful treatment for IBD, and may even help prevent cancer by enhancing your liver function. 

This recipe was our inspiration, but since we were making chicken kebabs and not grilling bone-in pieces of chicken, we had to do things a little diffe

However! This was so crazy good that we are gonna try this with some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs/legs/breasts in the future. You’ll want to, too! This marinade is literally awesome sauce, and you’ll want to doctor it up for tofu dishes, noodles, salads, etc. It’s sweet, salty, and a little spicy--you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients for the grilled chicken marinade:

  • 4 chicken thighs, deboned but skin-on (12 oz chicken)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce or soy sauce
  • Scant 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Chicken breast, cut into small pieces for skewering 

Optional: Cut up your favorite vegetables (and fruits) into grillable chunks and add them to the skewers: onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, pineapple, etc. 

Directions for the chicken kebab recipe:

Mix up the marinade ingredients and pour the mixture into a sealable plastic bag. Add your chicken. Refrigerate the mixture for up to four hours.

Assemble your skewers and grill them on the little orange grill until they’re ready to eat. 

Grilled chicken recipe

Note: if you’re using a little orange grill like we are, you’ll want to make smaller kebabs that cook faster, so cut your chicken and vegetables into smaller pieces. We also often use smaller skewers. Otherwise, you’ll want to lay the kebabs horizontally or diagonally across the grill to make sure they cook evenly.

Chicken skewers recipe

We paired these skewers with a Sauvignon Blanc--but stop! Don’t do that! The chicken was so sweet with the honey that it definitely required a wine with a little sugar in it. Next time, we’ll go for something like an off-dry Riesling or an off-dry Gewurz. If we were in the United States when we made this, I would have happily opened up a cold bottle of Lucky Duck wine.

For the future, maybe we’ll try this recipe with maple syrup instead of honey, or with brown sugar. We like to mix it up and try to new things.

What you might need for this recipe:


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