Trying to do bbq chicken tikka kebabs on a traditional grill has always been problematic because the grill doesn’t compare well with the high temperatures encountered one can achieve in the Indian tandoor. Use a kamado ceramic barbecue such as a
Big Green Egg
and your problem is solved.
Just like cooking in a clay tandoor the design of the kamado ceramic barbecue is ideal for vertically resting kebab skewers inside and the heat that a kamado can generate ensures that we get that crispness to the exterior of the chicken so keeping the juices inside.
I did these in the Big Green Egg but it's even easier to do in the Primo oval because the cooking grate is in two halves giving you an extra structure to lean the skewers against.
This recipe also calls for a minimum 24 hour marinade (referably 48 hours) so you’ll need to think ahead. Long metal skewers (no plastic or wooden handles) will be required and heat resistant gloves too.
For me it has to be thigh meat, it's so under-rated. Agreed it doesn't look a nice as breast meat but it's so much more juicy and flavorful. In this recipe I've boned out the thighs and removed the skin - essential to ensure that your marinade can work on all areas of the meat.
Pop the peeled onions, garlic and chillies into a food processor and blitz until they form a rough paste, add the remaining ingredients and mix again thoroughly and the marinade is done.
Place the chicken thighs into the marinade, cover with stretch wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
When you're ready to cook, remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and pat them dry with kitchen towel. This removes any excess marinade ensuring that the outside of the meat will seal and keep the juices in. (If there's too much marinade on your chicken it'll just go soggy.)
Remove the grill plate and get the kamado well cranked up to about 300°C or 600°F and then thread a whole chicken thigh onto an individual skewer, threading it right up to the handle. Using heat resistant gloves, place the skewer tips in the hot charcoal and rest the skewers vertically on the inside of the kamado.