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Jim's Chicken Shawarma and Kabob Marinade

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    Jim's Chicken Shawarma and Kabob Marinade

    I've made several batches recently of chicken shawarma and veggie kabobs, using a marinade my wife always loved, that is in her cookbook on a little card that says "Carla's BBQ Marinade". Carla is her sister, and she probably got this card from her 20+ years ago. I felt it was lacking in areas, so have tweaked it with my own additions of ginger and toasted sesame oil, and its got a great flavor with those additions. May try a little garlic, but for now, thought I would share.

    First, the results:

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    Jim’s Shawarma & Kabob Marinade

    1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
    1/3 Cup vegetable oil (I usually use olive oil)
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup vinegar
    1 teaspoon curry powder
    1 teaspoon freshly grated or minced ginger
    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    Marinade for chicken or veggie kabobs

    Mix ingredients, preferably emulsifying in a blender. Marinate chicken for 4 hours or overnight, discarding marinade that chicken was in. Grill chicken shawarma style or on skewers. Brush reserved marinade on vegetable skewers before and during grilling. Also works well as a dipping sauce.

    This recipe as written makes enough to marinate about 2.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs. I quadrupled the recipe in order to grill 5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken - marinated overnight in half - and the number of veggie skewers shown above, reserving some that was not used on the skewers as a dipping sauce.
    Last edited by jfmorris; April 15, 2021, 03:35 PM.

    Solid offering my brother !! I like the skewer shawarma idea most of all, I'm going to be doing my al Pastor that way from now on.


      What a great job on the cook and the recipe write up! That marinade sounds delicious and the finished product looks amazing.


        Looks delicious Jim. Thank you for the write up and pics.


          That looks like the bomb, Jim. Adding it to the list. I haven't done kabobs in years.


            Thanks for sharing this. Looks great! Added to Paprika.


            • Old Glory
              Old Glory commented
              Editing a comment

            Thanks guys. I hope someone else finds it useful and likes it. If you add something (I am thinking minced garlic would be good), let me know if it improves things. A tablespoon of gochujang would be a good addition if you want to add some kick.

            I kept enough to use as a dipping sauce. To be honest, it is hard to get veggies to take a marinade - the mushrooms are the only thing that will absorb it, so we brushed it on as we were building the skewers, and what was in the bottom of the pan I used went back into a bowl to brush on each time I turned them during the cook. I brushed some on the chicken as well, but considering it marinated for about 36 hours, it had plenty of flavor.

            I am mostly glad that I discovered boneless skinless chicken thighs last year, as they are so much better than dried out oversized boneless skinless breasts, and I've even got SWMBO preferring thigh meat to breast meat now. I'm cooking until the thermapen gives me a reading of 165F in the center of the fake shawarma stack of chicken meat on the double skewers.


            • Willy
              Willy commented
              Editing a comment
              +1 on chicken thighs over breasts! Been doing 'em for years now. I usually buy bone-in and, if necessary, debone (very poorly--I ain't a good butcher) myself if a whole thigh isn't appropriate. Save the (in my case "too meaty"--LOL) bone and skin for stock. Win-win as the bone-in are typically cheaper.
              Last edited by Willy; April 16, 2021, 07:12 AM.

            • Willy
              Willy commented
              Editing a comment
              Serendipity strikes (something that happens all too infrequently in my life)! Right after making my above post, I went to a site (woksoflife) that I check often and, lo and behold, they featured a segment on how to debone a chicken thigh:


            Don't know if but matters flavor wise, but I just made a note in the recipe, as I have been using olive oil. We resurrected this 20 year old marinade a week or two ago, and had nothing but olive and avocado oil in the house. Don't skip the toasted sesame oil if you have it - its got a nutty flavor that is the bomb, and works well with the minced ginger.

            I will also admit something. I am a cheater. Yes, indeed. I never mince my garlic OR ginger. I keep a quart jar of minced garlic in the fridge, and have recently been buying these squeeze tubes of minced ginger as well. It's a cheat, but is much faster than trying to mince or grate that fibrous ginger root, and then end up with a chunk of ginger root in a zip lock bag in the fridge until you forget about it and it goes bad.
            Last edited by jfmorris; April 15, 2021, 03:37 PM.


            • Panhead John
              Panhead John commented
              Editing a comment
              I’m with ya Jim. Garlic in the jar for me too. I hate peeling and cutting fresh garlic.

            • Skip
              Skip commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree on the Garlic and Ginger jfmorris . Works much better when cooking for two like I do most of the time. Thanks for the marinade recipe.

            Thanks for the write-up! I'm always looking for something new to do with yardbird


              This looks fantastic!


                jfmorris Looks delicious. Is that how you grill everything, meat on upper rack and veggies low? All over direct heat?


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I moved the meat to the lower rack to get a little more charbefore adding the veggie kabobs - but it was up there on the top rack most of the time. It takes that thick stack of chicken thigh meat about 1 hour to reach 165 in the center, and you don't want it to get too burned. The veggies only take about 15 minutes, so I added them about 45 minutes into the cook.

                Excellent post, very informative with great pictures. With the amount of meat and vegetables on the grill and seeing the end pictures, it shows you have a handle on grill management.


                  Thank you. Just added it to Paprika to give it a try next week.



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