Shish Tawook is one of the most popular chicken skewers in the Middle East. They are juicy, tender, and bursting with flavor.
This recipe introduces chicken cubes marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, and different spices and threaded on wooden skewers.
This authentic Shish Tawook (Middle Eastern Chicken Skewers) is out-of-this-world tasty. Serve it in pita bread with whipped garlic sauce, or on a plate with a fresh salad and creamy hummus, and enjoy a quick and healthy meal!
Shish Tawook, also known as chicken kabobs, can be found in most Lebanese restaurants.
It’s usually ordered as a sandwich of grilled chicken rolled in Pita bread with some Lebanese garlic sauce, salty pickles, and fries.
Shish Tawook, in its most basic form, is simply grilled chicken breast. However, the secret lies in the marinade.
I’ve been eating Shish Tawook at home and in fast food restaurants my entire life! And while the common flavors of garlic and lemon are shared in most Lebanese-style Shish Tawook recipes, spices and flavorings can vary greatly.
What is Shish Tawook?
Shish Tawook is a popular flavorful chicken dish in Middle Eastern cuisine. Both the words shish and tawook have Turkish origins.
SHISH means skewer in Turkish. The word TAWOOK, also spelled taouk, means chicken.
While each country has its own version of shish tawook, the basic concept is the same: cubed chicken marinated in a spiced yogurt and grilled to perfection on skewers.
Originally an Ottoman dish, shish tawook became a popular dish in many parts of the Middle East, including Egypt and the Levant, during the Ottoman Empire rule.
To make this shish tawook chicken recipe at home, you need to start by marinating the chicken in the yogurt-based marinade. Then, lace the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers and bake, sear, or grill to juicy perfection!
Indulge in Some Juicy Tawook Chicken!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
You will absolutely love how easy making this recipe is! Simply combine the yogurt and garlic marinade and chicken, then refrigerate.
Shish tawook skewers are also a crowd favorite, particularly among children. You don’t even have to wait until summer outdoor grill season to enjoy Shish Tawook!
You can even cook shish tawook skewers on your indoor grill pan.
Finally, you’ll save money, time, and get the chance to enjoy Middle Eastern food from the comfort of your own home!
This is surely going to be a favorite recipe of yours too!
What to Serve with Tawook Tender Chicken?
Since your Shish Tawook will always be part of a mixed grill platter, the sky is the limit when trying to pair it with something equally delicious!
I like to serve this Lebanese shish tawook recipe with a couple of fresh salads such as Mediterranean salads like Fattoush and Tabbouli, or a sumac onions salad.
For dips, I like whipped toum (homemade toum garlic sauce), tzatziki, Muhammara, hummus, or baba ghanoush! Dip your tender juicy chicken and enjoy an oh-so-yummy burst of flavors!
Chicken shish kabobs can also be served on a plate with rice, grilled vegetables, and pita chips.
Make sure you check out my wide sections of tasty side dishes. Who knows, maybe you will find something that suits your preferences!
What You’ll Need to Make Shish Tawook
Here are what you need to make the best Chicken Shish Tawook recipe:
Chicken: I usually use boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut them into 1-inch pieces. However, boneless skinless chicken thighs can also work.
Yogurt: You can use plain natural yogurt or Greek yogurt. Yogurt tenderizes the meat, while also forming a nice crust, giving it a nice color when cooked.
Fresh lemons and cider vinegar: Add some lemon juice and cider vinegar to the marinade for some brightness and tang. Fresh lemon juice is always preferred.
Olive oil: A few spoons of extra virgin olive oil will make the marinade even better.
Minced garlic cloves: A necessary component in this recipe is cloves of garlic.
Ketchup and red pepper paste: They give the taouk a distinctive color and flavor. You can also add a touch of tomato paste for a rich red color!
Spices: You will need ground cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, white pepper, garlic powder, and salt. You can also use ready-made tawouk spice mix from any Middle Eastern store. However, I always prefer to mix my own spices.
Check the recipe card for quantities.
Tender Juicy Tawook
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Shish tawook skewers are best served as soon as they are grilled. If you do have leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat the chicken shish tawook either in a microwave, on stove top, or in the oven wrapped in foil for 20-30 minutes.
Sure! You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders in this recipe. This depends on your personal preferences.
If you like heat, add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or red chili powder, to the spice marinade. This will make your tawook chicken kebobs more spicy.
While both are chicken Middle Eastern dishes, they use different spices and are cut differently.
Warm spices like cardamom, ginger, and cloves are used in the shawarma marinade. Shish Tawook, on the other hand, has a milder flavor profile.
Adding cubed green bell peppers, and sometimes red onions, adds beauty to the skewers. Plus they taste delicious!
After baking, immediately cover the chicken with pita bread. The pita bread traps the vapors and moisture, making the chicken even juicier!
Use plain full-fat yogurt rather than Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is fine, but regular yogurt is preferable because the water content of regular yogurt helps keep the chicken moist.
You can use a zip lock bag to marinate the chicken to save space in the fridge. Release any air before closing the zip lock.
You can freeze the marinated chicken for up to three months.
Never cook Shish Tawook on extremely high heat. Cook the chicken skewers over medium heat.
Grilled to Perfection!
Chicken Tawook Ingredients
- chicken breasts
- plain or Greek yogurt
- olive oil or vegetable oil
- apple cider vinegar
- lemon juice
- red pepper paste
- garlic powder
- minced garlic, or add more garlic powder
- oregano seasoning
- white pepper
- salt (to taste)
Steps to Prep Shish Tawook
First, cut the skinless boneless chicken into 1:1 inch cubes/kabob chunks, and place in a large bowl.
Next, in a small bowl, mix together the plain yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper paste, garlic powder, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano seasoning, white pepper, and salt.
Then, pour the yogurt marinade of garlic over the cubed chicken and mix together until well coated.
Allow to marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Finally, grill, sear, or bake right away for best results.
OTHER POPULAR MIDDLE EASTERN RECIPES YOU HAVE TO TRY
- Ground Meat Rice and Chicken (Roz w Jeij)
- Middle Eastern Chicken Kafta Burgers
- Ultimate Beef Shawarma Sandwich
- Best Chicken Gallaba
- Boiled Eggs and Potatoes (Batata w Beid)
- Vegetarian Bulgar and Tomato Pilaf (Burghul w Banadoura)
- Spinach Pie Pockets
- Turkish Labne
- Baked Cumin Chicken and Potatoes
- Mujadara Hamra (Reddened Lentils and Bulgur)
Shish Tawook Recipe – Lebanese Grilled Chicken Skewers
- 4 pounds chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp. plain or Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. red pepper paste
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 8-10 minced garlic cloves or add more garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 2 tbsp. oregano seasoning
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- ½ tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- ½ tsp. salt to taste
- Cut the skinless boneless chicken into 1:1 inch cubes/kabob chunks, and place in a bowl.
- In a bowl, mix together the plain yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper paste, garlic powder, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano seasoning, white pepper, and salt.
- Pour the marinade over the cubed chicken and mix together until well coated.
- Allow to marinate for 3 hours, or overnight.
- Grill, sear or bake right away for best results.
This was so good. The spices were lovely and the prep was easy with things I already had on hand. Thank you!