How to Make the Best Barbecued Chicken Skewers

Chicken skewers are always a favourite for Canadian summer barbecues, and each family has their own recipe. For Ricardo, the ideal skewer is made up of meat only; the vegetables cook separately and get their own barbecue sauce glaze. Here are some tips on how to make this classic grill a success every time.

1. Marinating

For chicken, we prefer a liquid marinade with well-balanced acidity, which will give the meat a pleasant texture. With this in mind, we chose to marinate the chicken in buttermilk, as is common in fried chicken recipes. This stroke of genius ensures the meat is ultra-juicy.

Let it marinate for 24 hours, but no more, as the meat will become overly saturated and its texture will change. It also avoids adding too much salt—which dries the meat out, or sugar—which stiffens it and causes excessive caramelization.

2. Cooking

As chicken is a delicate meat, use moderate heat during cooking, even if that means it needs more time on the grill. To prevent it from drying out, take the chicken off the barbecue as soon as its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) and cover with aluminum foil. Then let it rest for five minutes, so that it is cooked evenly throughout.

3. Vegetables

Where did we put the peppers, onions and other vegetables that are usually on the skewers? Aside from a few pieces of green onion—which give flavour to the meat—we eliminated them! Vegetables don’t have the same cooking time as meat, so they are often either charred or raw. It is best to cook them separately, on skewers or in a barbecue cooking basket.

4. Sauce

The sauce used to glaze the chicken gives it a nice colour, but it’s better to brush the skewers at the end of the cooking time to control the caramelization. Ricardo’s choice? A summer-inspired sauce based on ketchup and spices which can be served on the side along with the skewers.

Now that you know all the secrets behind this recipe, here is the list of ingredients to prep and cook. Happy barbecue season!