How-to BBQ: Rotisserie chicken kebabs

How-to BBQ: Rotisserie chicken kebabs

I love rotisserie cooking and thankfully, it seems the BBQ manufactures have all caught on now as rotisserie attachments are far more common place - you can get them for Kamado Joe, Weber’s, gas grills, charcoal etc - so lots of possibilities. Rotisserie cooking is by favourite method to cook a whole roast chicken, and these kebabs are always a crowd pleaser and absolutely delicious!

Taste aside, if you are entertaining then grabbing the rotisserie sword and carving off chunks of meat that drop to a plate below at the table is good fun and an impressive spectacle too. The meat can be served with breads, salad, in buns - however you like really! The key to this is not just cooking through, but cooking at a hot enough temperature that the edges catch and brown (I won’t call it burning, even if it looks like it), the balance of moist, warm chicken thigh with the intense savoury flavour of the edges is what makes this dish for me.

1. Buying and prepping the chicken

Boned and skinned chicken thighs are likely available in pretty much any large supermarket, so don’t expect you’ll struggle to find these, but I will say that the price for kilo can be two or three times the price for skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, and even after removing those parts the pre-prepper chicken is still more expensive, so if you want a more cost-effective option then you can buy them whole and prep them yourself in no time at all.

To remove the skin, simply find a loose flap of skin on each thigh, get your fingers and knuckles under and just lift it off, it will come off with minimal effort. Note: You can also leave the skin on for this recipe! The skin is famously the most tasty and fatty part of the chicken thigh, so you get extra flavour and fat by keeping them in (as well as additional textures and interesting bits in the kebab).

To remove the bone, turn the chicken thigh over, and with a small sharp knife, gently cut where the bone is, gently pushing the meat to the side to almost roll the bone out.

For the spice run, it’s entirely up to your preference - my Moroccan style rub works very well with all things kebab, but you can also just use any BBQ rubs you have knocking about. Another favourite of mine is not a spice rub, but Patak’s curry paste - available at pretty much any supermarket - stick a couple tablespoons of that in the yoghurt and you’ll have an incredible curried kebab - I really can’t recommend this option enough! I often go for the Tikka or Korma spice paste, but any of those will be ace!

If you can, marinade the chicken overnight as the acids in the natural yoghurt help breakdown and tenderise the chicken, but still use it even if you are applying immediately before cooking.

2. Cooking and alternative techniques

As mentioned already, a big part of this dishes appeal is the contrast between the outer, seasoned and well seared part of the chicken and the inner moist, warm parts - so its really key that we let the outside sear up nicely and catch a bit. Arranging the chicken so its not a uniform shape and has crevices and peaks will make for more interest and different textures with the meat which will add to the appeal.

If you don’t have a rotisserie, fear not, as you can still cook this none the less - prep the chicken in the same way and just cook over a direct heat on the grill or in the oven. If you are cooking them on the grill, laid out flat, then they will cook a lot quicker as the heat doesn’t have to get all the way to the middle of the cylindrical kebab. I cook them direct but not too hot for a bit and then usually increase the heat to still make sure they catch and finish up nicely. If you are oven cooking them, then you can also finish them under the grill (or broiler, for our US friends) to achieve a similar result.

  • 4 people
  • 15 minutes
  • 45 - 60 minutes


  • 1 kilogram boned and skinless chicken thighs
  • 300 grams greek yoghurt
  • Your preferred spice rub - see notes above


  1. The day before - Add 2 tablespoons of your spice mix with the greek yoghurt and marinade the chicken thighs over night. If you don't have time then this can be done immediately before too, but best results marinade early.
  2. Set up your BBQ with rotisserie ready for direct heat cooking (no deflectors in) - if you can, create a valley in the middle of the charcoal directly below where the meat rotisserie will be by banking the charcoal to either side
  3. Carefully layer the chicken thighs on the rotisserie skewer - thigh meat will normally be longer one way, so rotate the angle of them to create different depths and textures
  4. Attach the rotisserie and cook for 45 - 60 mins, until the internal temperature is above 165C (thighs can withstand a much higher temp than chicken breast, so its fine to go higher - if the outside isn't quite browned and caught in places I'd happily go +20C internal temperature)

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