We were having salad for dinner, using up some vegetables, along with Corn and Zucchini Pancakes to use the half zucchini in the fridge, but I felt that the meal needed something else. I had a couple of chicken breasts...remembered the small amount of basic rub in the cupboard...and found some bacon in the fridge!
This is an unusual way to crust chicken, but it worked out better than I had hoped it would. Pureeing the bacon allowed the fat to render quickly, and this in turn dissolved the brown sugar in the rub. It created a spicy, sweet and smoky crust on top of the chicken. I know it is hard not to turn the kebabs when grilling, but the bacon crust will slide right off if you do, so restrain yourself, it is worth it.
The crust also adds moisture to the chicken, preventing it from drying out.
Put the bacon into the food processor. You will need:
4 rashers of bacon, diced
Process until the bacon has turned into a paste, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed.
3 tablespoons of a basic rub
Process until combined.
Cut 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts into chunks. I cut each one into 9 pieces.
Scrape the pureed bacon and rub out onto the cutting board.
Lightly sprinkle the chicken with smoked paprika, on all sides.
Divide the bacon-rub mixture between the chicken pieces, gently pressing it onto one side of each piece.
Skewer the chicken, keeping the bacon-rub sides facing up, as shown.
Place the kebabs onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the barbecue or grill until smoking hot, and lightly grease.
Place the chicken kebabs onto the oiled grill, turning the heat down, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked.
I closed the barbecue, and moved the kebabs around occasionally to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking. DO NOT TURN THE KEBABS!!
When the chicken is fully cooked, the bacon-rub mixture will be cooked as well. The bacon fat will melt, and the brown sugar in the rub will dissolve in the fat, creating a spicy crust.
Remove from the grill and allow the kebabs to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
I served the kebabs with a mixed green salad, with goat cheese, avocado, grape tomatoes, cucumber and some warm Corn and Zucchini Pancakes.
- Instead of pureeing bacon, consider using sausage meat, removed from the casing.
- My basic rub consists of brown sugar, paprika, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, kosher salt.
- The smoked paprika added extra smokiness and heat, but also helps the bacon puree to stick to the chicken.
- This can be used as a stuffing for chicken breast, a turkey breast roast, pork tenderloin or chops, or as a crust for cod, halibut or scallops. Stuff lobster tail with the bacon mixture before baking it, or use it to stuff mushrooms or sweet peppers.
- Chilling the chicken and bacon solidifies the bacon fat again, which prevents it from sliding straight off the chicken. The kebabs can be prepared a day ahead, or even assembled and frozen.
- This can also be baked, at 375F, with or without the skewers.