Mint and Red Pepper-Marinated Chicken Kebabs

A thick, spicy marinade is the secret to these ultra-caramelized Turkish skewers.

  • Serves

    serves 6-8

  • Cook

    2 hours 30 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on August 11, 2022

A thick, flavorful marinade of mint, Aleppo pepper, and Turkish sweet red pepper paste caramelizes on the outside of these grilled chicken kebabs. This recipe first appeared alongside Ansel Mullins’s 2013 article “Keepers of the Flame,'' in which he shares the techniques of the kebap ustaları (kebab masters) of Gaziantep, Turkey.


  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. dried mint
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp. Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. Turkish sweet red pepper paste
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-in.-thick pieces


Step 1

Prepare the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mint, chile flakes, thyme, Aleppo pepper, tomato paste, red pepper paste, black pepper, and salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to 2 hours. Prepare six 12-inch metal or (thoroughly soaked) bamboo skewers, shaking off any excess water before using.

Step 2

Preheat a grill to cook with 2-zone heat. Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto the skewers. Place the skewers on the hot side of the grill and cook, turning as needed, until the chicken is slightly charred and cooked through, 12–15 minutes. If the outside starts to burn before the chicken is fully cooked, move to the cooler side of the grill and continue cooking until done. Transfer to a platter and serve warm.

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