I love making middle-eastern style chicken, beef kabobs with skewered veggies (onions, peppers, yams, carrots). I always cook them over a quality charcoal.
Im still trying to refine my techniques.
Is it best to just brush on a marinade while cooking or to marinade the meat and veggies for a few hours soaking. I usually marinade in olive oil, vinegar, wine and poultry seasoning, fresh garlic. Please share your ideas.
A wonderful (and simple) persian chicken kebab recipe - it's actually called jujeh kabob:
fresh lemon juice
chopped or minced onion (I prefer only about a 1/4 - 1/2 onion as I don't like the chicken to take on too much of an onion flavour)
few drops of liquid saffron (pinch of saffron threads that you've ground up and mixed with a tablespoon of hot water)
some people add yogurt, but I don't bother.
Let marinate in fridge for as long as possible (great if you can let it go for a few hours or longer).
If you want to go all out, brush some butter and liquid saffron on the kebobs while they're grilling over the charcoal. Serve over warm lavash or pita bread and basmati rice.
I marinate beef or lamb 12-24 hours, chicken for 4-8 hours, but even an hour or two will add some flavor to any meat. Veggies I might brush with oil or just put on the grill naked. It seems only strong flavors survive the grill, so I never use wine, and the type of oil doesn't make much difference, with the exception of sesame oil, which you might think of as a spice since it adds so much flavor. Lemon juice instead of vinegar adds a nice taste to chicken, but doesn't make much difference for red meats.
I don't care for spice mixes. I'd rather use one or two spices so people can recognize what they are tasting. Cumin and paprika for lamb are great. Ginger and garlic for beef or chicken. Soy sauce or worchestershire sauce instead of salt, if you like. Sugar, molasses, honey and tomato sauce are fine for barbeque sauce, but I don't use them for kebabs. All that sugar on the surface does is turn to carbon when you cook them over really hot charcoal. Not tasty.
A basic marinade:
Canola or other neutral tasting oil
Sesame oil (about 1/4 as much as canola)
Lemon juice or white wine vinegar
Minced or crushed garlic
For beef or lamb you might drop the ginger and add a good dose of cumin and hot paprika (or a small dose of cayenne or crushed red pepper).