BBQ chicken skewers are tender, juicy, and easy to throw together at the last minute. Create mouthwatering flavor with just a few ingredients!
Chicken pieces are coated in a spicy bacon paste and brushed with a drunken barbecue sauce to create a flavor that is out of this world!
I know, I know – pureed bacon? Trust me, you’ll never want to make grilled chicken any other way after you try it.
The paste keeps the meat tender and moist, and you don’t have to worry about flare-ups from fat dripping off of strips.
Love the bourbon BBQ sauce? Try my Jack Daniel’s Double Kick version next time. It’s got a sweet, smoky flavor with some extra heat from red chili peppers.
How To Make BBQ Chicken Skewers
First, whisk together the bourbon BBQ sauce and puree the bacon with sugar and spices.
Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces and pat dry with a paper towel. Don’t make them too small since they will shrink a bit when cooked.
Use your hands to coat the meat in bacon paste, pressing slightly to help it adhere to the surface. Then, slide the pieces onto the skewers. Be sure to leave space on each end so they are easier to flip.
Grill for a few minutes on each side, brushing on the sauce towards the end. Once they are done, let them rest on a platter while you bring the remaining sauce to a boil on the stove.
Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Get a bolder flavor. If you have time, coat the chicken with the bacon puree and let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Don’t use cold meat! Poultry fresh out of the fridge tends to dry out and cook unevenly. Instead, let it warm on the counter for about 15 minutes before transferring to the grill.
- Soak your skewers. These should sit in water for an hour or so to prevent them from catching fire over the flames.
- Tip for alcohol-free alternative: Most of the alcohol will cook off between the grilling and boiling on the stove. However, you can omit the bourbon and vinegar altogether and just use the barbecue sauce by itself.
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FAQ – Common Recipe Questions
Can I make bourbon BBQ sauce ahead of time?
Absolutely! In fact, I like to make a big batch of my homemade recipe on a regular basis so I always have some on hand.
Mix everything together at once, or keep the base in the refrigerator for up to a month and add the bourbon and vinegar when you start this recipe.
What goes with BBQ chicken skewers?
If it’s been a hectic day, you can easily throw together a green salad or some cut up fruit instead.
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
Bourbon BBQ Chicken Skewers
- 16 ounces barbecue sauce, I used my homemade sauce
- 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey, I prefer Maker’s Mark
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1”x1” pieces
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces (uncooked)
- 8 12 inch wooden skewers, soaked in water for an hour
- In a medium bowl combine barbecue sauce, vinegar and whiskey. Whisk to combine. Set aside and allow flavors to meld.
- Add bacon to the bowl of your food processor and blend until bacon becomes a paste. Add salt, pepper, paprikas, and sugar. Pulse until well combined.
- Pat chicken with a paper towel to dry. Add bacon paste mixture to chicken; mix with hands until chicken is completely coated. Place chicken on skewers.
- Place on preheated grill. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Brush cooked surface with barbecue sauce and cook each side (coated in sauce) for 1 additional minute.
- Remove kebabs from grill. Pour remaining barbecue sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour into a serving container and serve barbecue sauce along side kebabs. Enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Recipe inspired by Cook’s Illustrated bacon paste.
Originally published June 2012, updated and republished May 2021
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