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Not Quite a Kellybab
Many of us are familiar with the Kellybab and its exceptional taste. It’s almost like one of those must-try recipes for BBQ enthusiasts. The flavors are fantastic, and the way the chicken turns out adds to the overall experience – crispy on the outside, yet succulent and flavorful on the inside.
As Christmas approached, my thoughts turned to a Boxing Day cook (for those not from the UK, that’s on the 26th of December). I wanted something that required relatively low effort but promised great taste. The idea of preparing a kebab on the rotisserie, using the same method as the Chicken Doner Kebab (or Kellybab), immediately came to mind.
Cranberry is a flavour synonymous with Christmas, so the Cranberry Chicken Kebab was born.
Preparation and the Cook
I needed to do some preparation on Christmas Day to allow ample time for the chicken thighs to marinate – aiming for a solid 18 to 24 hours of flavour infusion. After combining the marinade ingredients, I trimmed the excess fat from the chicken and generously coated the thighs before placing them in the fridge overnight.
Approximately 20 minutes before kicking off the cooking process, I took the marinated chicken out of the fridge and began threading it onto the rotisserie spike.
For cooking, I used the Weber Rotisserie and added wood chunks, typically cherry, at the cook’s commencement. This step imparts a delightful colour and smokiness to the chicken. Although it generally takes around 90 minutes, I always rely on an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked. I aimed to remove it from the BBQ once the internal temperature reached 75°C.
As the temperature reached 65°C, I started to apply the glaze. Given its higher sugar content, I chose to do this towards the end of the cook to prevent excessive charring of the chicken.
Once ready, I grilled my homemade pitas on the BBQ, topping them with salad and, if desired, a drizzle of hot sauce.
If you have not tried this Chicken Doner Kebab (aka Kellybab) I would implore you to give it a go. You will never look back once you eat this! This Cranberry Chicken Kebab variation of it was great (if I don’t say so myself). I enjoyed the different flavour profile and it wasn’t too sweet which was something I wanted to avoid. I have a feeling this will be a regular staple for us over the festive period in future years.
Cranberry Chicken Kebab
- 1 lb Boneless & Skiness Chicken Thighs
For the Marinade
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 150 g Fresh Cranberries
- 2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
- ⅓ tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 150 ml Cranberry Juice
For the Glaze
- 2 tbsp Cranberry Sauce
- 2 tbsp Cranberry Juice
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- Place the chicken in a large bowl and, in a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together really well.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken thighs and mix everything together thoroughly. You want every bit of chicken smothered in the paste. Leave to marinade overnight – this will give you the best results.
- About 20 minutes before you want to start cooking take the chicken out of the fridge. Just before you want to start cooking thread the chicken on the rotisserie skewer.
- Once you have your BBQ up to the required temperature (I usually aim for 180-200°C), add the chicken to the BBQ and start your cook. At this stage add your wood chunks or chips. I like to use cherry with chicken and will usually add 3 or 4 chunks at the beginning of my cook.
- The cook time will vary but you are looking to get the chicken thigh to 75°C. I find it best to start checking the temperature after about 45-60 minutes. The cook time will vary but typically I find it takes around 1hr 30 minutes.
- As your chicken in cooking make the glaze. Combine the Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Juice and Balsamic in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the Cranberry Sauce has broken down and you have a liquid, add the Brown Sugar. Combine all the ingredients and then take off the heat.
- When the chicken hits 60-65℃ start applying the glaze to the chicken. Do this about every 5-10 minutes until you have used the all the glaze mixture.
- Once up to temp (75℃) remove from the BBQ and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the rotisserie spike, and then roughly chop with a knife. Serve with either flatbread or a pitta and a salad of your choice.