Cranberry Chicken Kebab


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.

The Verdict

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

This Cranberry Chicken Kebab recipe is off the scale. Inspired by the famous Kellybab it brings some festive flavours to a winning recipe!
Servings 6 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 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)
  • 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.
    Glazing the Cranberry Chicken Kebab
  • 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.
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Christmas Chicken, Kebab, Kellybab, Rotissere


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