The perfect summertime BBQ dinner! This BBQ Chicken & Flatbread recipe is a BBQ staple here at the Deliciously Mediterranean house! There’s nothing like pulling grilled flavourful chicken off the bone with a piece of warm flatbread & don’t forget loading up red onions with sumac for good measure. A Quick & Easy BBQ dinner that’s always satisfying & Perfect for summer meal prep!
This BBQ chicken & Flatbread came to be a few summers back, during a monthly weekend BBQ with some friends. Inspired by my Palestinian friends adding tomato paste and black seed on pita bread than using that bread to pull the chicken off the skewers and finishing off with a generous amount of sumac onions.
Craving a simple & deliciously quick meal, I tossed some extra salsa onto the flatbread & gave it a grill along with some leftover chicken. Once everything grilled, I threw it on a bed of red onions + sumac, finishing with a generous drizzle of garlic sauce. And let me tell you, it was absolutely fantastic.
The interplay of juicy smokey chicken & Saucy Flatbread is somehow so satisfying & super light all at once, making for the perfect summer meal. In fact, we love this BBQ chicken & Flatbread recipe so much that we’ve had it on a weekly basis ever since! And I’ve even created an oven version, so no matter what time of the year it is, you can still enjoy this delicious recipe.
It’s quick & easy to throw together, you can make the marinade ahead of time, & very little clean-up is involved since the grill does most of the work. Oh, and the salsa freezes well, so feel free to make a big batch! 😉
What you’ll need
- Chicken: Any cut of chicken will work with this recipe; however, keep in mind that the cooking times change for each chicken cut. For speedy cooking, use boneless chicken.
- Salsa: Red onion, garlic, tomato paste, Turkish red pepper paste, lemon, tomatoes, cumin, paprika and cayenne.
- Yogurt: the yogurt is an extra tenderizer for this recipe, any kind of yogurt will do. If you’re dairy-free, you can leave it out and still have good results.
- Parsley & Bay leaves.
- Flatbread: I used naan bread; however, you can use any flatbread for this recipe. Just make sure it’s foldable, and you don’t overheat it.
- Red onions & sumac: This is an optional topping, but it well worth the effort! Thinly slice the onion, add a tablespoon of sumac, finely diced parsley and a pinch of salt.
How to Make BBQ Chicken & Flatbread?
- Add all of the salsa ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. If the mixture has a lot of liquid, pour the salsa into a fine-meshed strainer and remove some excess water. Some water may come to the surface after it’s been strained, and that fine. There’s no need to strain more than once.
- Separate the salsa in half. Keep on half for the marinade and the other half for topping on the bread.
- Marinate the chicken in the salsa, yogurt, parsley, & bay leaves overnight for best results or at least one hour.
- BBQ your chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Once the chicken is done, remove it from heat and let rest.
- Warm up the flatbread. Spread the extra pepper paste onto the bread and sprinkle on nigella seed (if using). Add the flatbread to the grill and heat until warm and still foldable. Be careful not to overcook the bread, or it will be too crispy.
- Top with sumac onions and enjoy with your favourite sides!
Top Tips On Making This Recipe
- It tastes best when marinated overnight. If you’re in a hurry, an hour will do, however for best results, let it rest for a longer time.
- If the salsa is too liquidy, just pour it into a mesh strainer to remove some of the extra liquid. If you’re preparing this step ahead of time, you may notice that more liquid has settled; this is fine. Just give it a little stir and carry on.
- The salsa freezes really well. You can make it ahead of time and freeze it for later.
- You can also make this recipe in the oven and still achieve the BBQ flavour with the charcoal technique I used in the Perfect Chicken Mandi recipe!
I wouldn’t recommend longer than 24 hours for best results.
I don’t know. To be honest, I’ve never tried to freeze a yogurt-based marinade before. So I don’t want to say yes, and you end up with clumpy yogurt on the chicken. However, I’m sure the taste would still be good.
When storing the recipe, I recommend storing the items separately and assembling everything once reheated and ready to serve
I used a store-bought garlic mayo. You can also use Lebanese toum (garlic sauce) if you have it available. At this moment, I don’t have a recipe for Lebanese toum sauce; however, it’s coming in the near future.
What to Serve with BBQ Chicken & Flatbread
I love to serve this recipe with fries, pickles and fresh veggies. You can also forgo the flatbread and serve this with my Instant pot Lebanese vermicelli rice or with the Mediterranean yellow rice and some hummus, zucchini dip, or Muhammara and of course, a delicious salad like fattoush is always a great idea.
BBQ Chicken & Flatbread
- Food processor
- 2 Medium Roma Tomates Chopped
- 1 Small Red Onion Chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic Peeled
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons Turkish Red pepper paste
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 2 teaspoons cumin ground
- 2 teaspoons paprika ground
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper freshly ground
- 1½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ⅔ cup Yogurt
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 8 chicken legs
- 4 naan bread
- 1 Tablespoon Nigella seeds optional
- 1 sumac onion recipe
- 4 teaspoons garlic mayo optional
- Make the salsa. Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion, tomato paste, Turkish red pepper paste, harissa, paprika, cumin, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper, & salt into a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth paste.
- Separate the salsa. Remove half of the salsa, then place it into an airtight container and store in the fridge until your ready to cook the chicken. I'll explain more about the reason for this later in the recipe.
- Finish the Marinade. Place the other half of the salsa into a large bowl. Add the yogurt, parsley, & honey⏤Stir to combine everything. Add the drumsticks into the marinade⏤toss to coat. Add the bay leaves and cover the bowl. Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge overnight.
- Heat the BBQ. Prepare your grill for indirect cooking, creating a zone of direct high heat & a second zone of indirect heat. If using a gas grill, begin preheating at least 15 minutes before grilling. If using charcoal, light the charcoal at least 30 minutes before grilling
- Grill the chicken. Place the chicken on the indirect side of the grill, as close to the fire as possible without being over the direct heat. Cook the chicken, rotating the pieces 180 degrees every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken (without hitting the bone) registers a temperature of 165ºF. Depending on the size of your chicken & the temperature of your grill, this could take as little as 35 minutes or up to 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allow for the juice to distribute through the chicken.
- Grill the bread. Add a tablespoon of the leftover salsa on each flatbread, spread it over the top, sprinkle with nigella seeds, place the bread on the grill, and heat up for a few minutes⏤soft and warm, remove from the heat.
- Assemble the Meal. Prepare the sumac onion as directed. Layer the chicken on the flatbread, then top with the sumac onions and add garlic mayo if using.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the chicken into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Rotate halfway through the cooking time to ensure all sides of the chicken are browned. Once the chicken is finished, assemble the meal as directed.
- Once the chicken is finished, remove from the heat, rest, and heat your bread for 3-5 minutes or until warm.
- Faux smoky flavour. If you wish to achieve the classic smoky flavour of the BBQ without the BBQ. Place the cooked chicken into a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Heat a small piece of charcoal until hot and ashy. Place the hot charcoal into a small heat-proof bowl, then add a little oil to the charcoal. Lots of smoke will start once you add the oil, so place the lid on the pot quickly and let rest until all of the smoke has disappeared.⏤It takes about 5 minutes.