How To Make Toasted Chile Chicken Skewers

Don’t call it a kebab.

Photos by Lauren Zaser / Graphic by Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

2. These chicken skewers are above-average amazing.

That’s because the chicken gets marinated in toasted chile oil for spiciness, brown sugar for sweetness and soy sauce for saltiness. And garlic because it makes everything better.

For the full recipe with ingredient amounts, jump to the bottom of the post.

3. Before you start, soak your wooden skewers (which you can buy here). Wood burns (obvs) and soaking them in water for at least 4 hours will prevent them from charring or catching on fire.

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If you’re like, super into skewers, you can actually soak a ton overnight, remove them from the water and freeze them. Then, next time you’re feeling like you just GOTTA skewer, they’re all ready to go.

4. First: the chicken! The best meat to use here is a boneless, skinless chicken thigh.

Alvin Zhou / Via BuzzFeed


Thighs have the most flavor, more fat than chicken breast (so they don’t dry out) and are the *perfect* size. Cut them all in half and place in a medium bowl.

5. For the marinade: Heat 1/4 cup of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of chile flakes in a small pot until the oil begins to sizzle and turn a nice orange color. Remove this from the heat.

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Add in 2 finely grated cloves of garlic, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 3 Tbsp. soy sauce and season with salt and pepper. Let it cool slightly and add 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (this will help keep the chicken tender).

6. Pour this mixture over the chicken and let it sit for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

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7. Weave the skewer from one end of each piece of chicken to the other, so when you rotate the skewer, the chicken lays flat.

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You want to get the maximum amount of chicken surface area exposed to the heat, so simply skewering it once through the middle isn’t going to cut it. Slide it down a little more than halfway down the skewer and add two more pieces of chicken.

One skewer will have 2 pieces because MATH, so save the largest pieces for this one.

8. Place all the skewers on a foil lined baking sheet and broil them on high until they’re all cooked through, browned and starting to char in spots, about 10–12 minutes.

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9. Sprinkle with sliced scallions before serving.

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10. Toasted Chile Chicken Skewers

By Alison Roman
Serves 6

1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon chile flakes
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
Wooden skewers, soaked in water
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat oil and chile flakes in a medium pot over medium heat until oil is sizzling and has turned a bright orange color. Remove from heat and add garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce and season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly and add lemon juice.
Pour mixture over chicken and let sit at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

Thread three pieces of chicken onto each skewer (one skewer will have 2 pieces because MATH, so save the largest pieces for this one). Place skewers onto a foil lined baking sheet and broil until chicken is cooked through, browned and charred in spots, 10–12 minutes.

Serve with sliced scallions sprinkled over.

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