Barbecued Chicken Kabobs



We’ve officially entered the picky eater stage with the toddler. It’s not so much that he’s picky as he is stubborn. It used to be you’d set anything in front of him and he’d devour it. The other day, I set a plate with carrots in front of him (a food I know he loves) and he cried for 10 minutes.  Seriously.

Getting him to eat meat has never been all that easy (I am unintentionally raising a pescatarian, apparently), but it’s gotten increasingly harder. He made an exception for these kabobs, though. Oh, sure, at first when he saw the pieces on his plate and it was clear that they were NOT some sort of bread product, he gave me the side eye. But I dolloped a little extra sauce on his and then when he finished his piece he asked for more. For this, and many other reasons, these kabobs are a winner in my book.

Like most Cook’s Illustrated recipes, this one  uses an odd method, too (how do they come up with some of this stuff, seriously?). You process bacon until it forms a paste and then toss it with the chicken pieces and seasoning. The bacon paste does not look especially appetizing, but it does wonderful things. Combined with the smoked paprika, the bacon makes these kabobs nice and smoky. Plus, that little extra fat adds more flavor to the chicken and keeps it from drying out.

The sauce comes together in under 10 minutes.  You can’t beat that! Made without a lot of hot sauce, it’s a pretty sweet sauce. Normally I’m a spicy sauce girl (which can be achieved by adding more hot sauce, but I didn’t want to overpower it in case Zachary didn’t like it), but it works with these grilled, smoky kabobs.  I used less than 2 lbs. of chicken because it’s what we had – probably 1.25 – 1.5 lbs. – but I kept the sauce amount the same and we didn’t have much leftover at all, so you may want to increase the recipe below.

These kabobs were so flavorful, and a real winner in our house all around. So, get thee into the kitchen to whip up some bacon paste, stat!



Barbecued Chicken Kabobs

29 thoughts on “Barbecued Chicken Kabobs

  1. These kabobs look absolutely amazing. I have never heard of making a paste out of bacon but I am going to give that a try. It sounds delicious! I’m pinning this one to try soon. Thanks!

  2. I am always amazed by the crazy techniques those people come up with! I’m sure this is just some kind of toddler phase and Zachary will grow out of it, but at least until then you have this recipe!

  3. You made these look so pretty! And, it’s hysterical reading your post and then Shawnda’s post in the same day. Just proves that all kids are SO different! I’ve also heard toddlers will go through their picky stages and come back around, so there is definitely hope. Counting on Judah to get stubborn soon. 🙂

  4. That’s so funny – same thing happened to me. I prepared those on the weekend, not even wasted one thought that my little guy would even attempt to try them. But – he saw them and wanted to have them. Guess food really taste better when it’s on a stick!

  5. We barbecue a lot, and these chicken kabobs sounds wonderfully delicious and a nice change to how we usually just grill chicken breasts. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It really depends on how much people eat. I would say you get about 1/3 of a lb. on each skewer, so you will want to have at least 1 skewer for people, more depending on whether they are big eaters, what other kinds of dishes you will be serving, etc.

  6. Another quick question. I’m making these now. Do you mix the spices together with the bacon paste first or just mix the chicken, paste, and spices together in a bowl? Maybe I’m making this too hard but I’m having 26 for dinner and have never made this before!!!

  7. I am going to have to try these! My daughter won’t touch chicken. She actually runs out of the room screaming if there is chicken anywhere near her plate (no kidding!) Teachers swear that she will eat chicken nuggets at preschool but I still have to witness this phenomenon…..

  8. This recipe looks delicious and I am going to make these for a get-together. How many people would this recipe feed approximately? Thank you! Kathryn

    1. Kathryn – roughly 6, but I would definitely err on the side of caution and probably treat it as 4 servings when planning.

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