Shish tawook literally translates to “chicken skewers” and is widely known in Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. Chicken thighs marinate in a mixture of yogurt, lemon and warm spices before being grilled over charcoal to create the most tender, juicy and flavorful chicken. This will become your favorite skewer recipe and is perfect served over lavash or salad.
Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs: An Easy Weeknight Dinner
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we love to grill, especially in the summer. Our go-to protein is usually skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Always tender with a bit of fat for juiciness and much more flavorful than chicken breasts, in my opinion. Chicken thighs are quick to thaw, take on flavors well and easy to cook with in any preparation. Therefore, making shish tawook a perfect weeknight dinner.
Shish Tawook Marinade
This is a marinade where most if not all the ingredients are cooking staples and are my go-to’s without even thinking twice. Yogurt is a natural tenderizer and whether you marinate chicken, beef or lamb, a yogurt marinade always yields a fantastic outcome.
Lemon zest and juice, garlic and olive oil are also added. For spices, paprika, cumin, a touch of cinnamon and cayenne if you don’t mind a bit of heat.
A Few Cooking Tips
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the prefered protein but chicken breasts will work too. If using breasts, I’d recommend marinating a bit longer to help tenderize the meat.
- Marinate for as long as you have time for. Early in the day to 30 minutes before cooking is fine.
- This same marinade is fantastic on cubed beef and lamb as well.
- Serve shish tawook with chopped kale salad with tahini dressing, Honey Harissa Cauliflower or Lebanese tabbouleh salad.
Here is another great chicken recipe:
Shish Tawook (Grilled Chicken Skewers)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 3 garlic cloves chopped finely or grated
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional if you like a bit of heat
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
- In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredients together except for the chicken.
- Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry, this will help the marinade stick better.
- Add chicken to marinade and mix well. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and place in refrigerator if marinating longer than an hour.
- About 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, remove chicken from refrigerator and skewer onto metal skewers. (if using wood skewers, just make sure to soak them in water for an hour before grilling).
- Once your grill or grill pan is nice and hot, skewer chicken and grill on first side for about 3-4 minutes or until deep golden and lightly charred, then turn over and grill other side until golden brown and charred.
- Once done, remove from grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. I like to place the tawook directly on top of lavash or pita bread to serve.
- Serve shish tawook with pita or lavash bread or along side a salad.