Barbecuing for more than four people? Prepare a large chicken kebab to carve, then the cooking is done in one go – and you can enjoy the party First, whisk all the marinade ingredients together with 1 tsp salt in a large bowl or, better still, a large plastic container that has a lid. Open out each chicken thigh, cover with a piece of baking parchment and flatten it with your hand, then lift off the paper and cut the thigh in half. Tip into the marinade and mix so it’s completely coated. Cover, chill and marinate for at least 1 hr. or up to 24 hrs. – the longer, the better. Thread all the chicken onto two skewers so that both skewers go through each piece of meat, packing down tightly as you go to make a compact kebab (see tip, below).
Light a lidded barbecue, and let the flames die down. Once the coals have turned ashen, pile them up on one side with a single layer of coals scattered around the other side. Lay the chicken kebab on the side of the barbecue with only a few coals underneath. Put the lid down and cook for 45 mins, turning every 15 mins. To finish, lift the lid and roll the kebab over to the hotter side to char the meat, turning it every few minutes until well browned and cooked through. Prize the chicken pieces apart in the center to check they’re cooked, or use a digital cooking thermometer – it should read 70C or more. Leave to rest for 5-10 mins while you cook the pittas (see recipe, opposite). Bring the kebab to the table and carve into thin slices with a serrated knife. Pile the carved meat into the warm pittas, then the sliced red onions and tomatoes, chips and tzatziki (see our recipes, below).