Shish Tawook is a popular Lebanese grilled chicken skewers recipe. It's tender juicy chicken marinated in yogurt, lemon & garlic and served with pita bread
Shish Ta what?! It’s Shish Tawook! It’s a very popular dish from Lebanon, where both my parents are from. Although the dish is Lebanese, the origin of the name is from Turkey. Shish means skewers and tawook means chicken. The Ottoman (Turkish) Empire ruled Lebanon for a few hundred years. That explains some of the Turkish influence on Lebanese food!
Ok, that’s your quick history lesson of the day. Now, for the recipe lesson of the day! How do you feel about perfectly tender and juicy chicken that’s been marinating in yogurt, lemon juice and garlic? I feel so good about this recipe, and I know you will too!
This recipe is all about the the marinade!I’ve played around with different options and this combination was my favorite!
Essentially the three most important ingredients in the marinade are yogurt, lemon juice and garlic (6 whole garlic cloves!). But I also like to add tomato paste to give it that rich red color, and some other middle-eastern spices including all spice, paprika, cinnamon, oregano and ginger.
Mix it all together and you’ll get this orangey creamy color ready for you to coat the chicken with
Next, I add the large cubes of chicken breast to the marinade and make sure that everything is well coated. While the yogurt and lemon are crucial parts of the flavor of this dish, they also act as a tenderizer for the chicken. That’s what makes the chicken come out so juicy and tender. Double action duty for the yogurt and lemon! Time to cover it up and forget about it for 4 hours, or even overnight if you can! That’s the hard part…I know…
Skewer the chicken right before you’re ready to cook it. I like adding chunks of white onions on each skewer to eat with the sandwich. I love how onions get sweeter when they’re grilled…the perfect vegetable with this shish tawook.
Traditionally, these chicken skewers are meant to be grilled outdoors. You can also use an indoor grill pan or regular pan if you don’t have a grill pan. Either way, you’d be surprised how quickly the shish tawook cooks, all thanks to the yogurt and lemon juice in the base that helped tenderize the chicken!
When it’s cooked, I love making sandwiches with fresh lettuce, pickles (not pictured here) and lots of store-bought or homemade Lebanese garlic sauce.
Now you’re ready to pile on that garlic sauce you guys! It’s dairy-free, rich in flavor and totally takes takes the shish tawook sandwich to another level!
It’s really hard to mess up this recipe. It comes out moist and flavorful, and makes a great addition to salads, rice, grain bowls or just plain pita bread with garlic sauce.
I hope you love this feelgood shish tawook recipe. If you make it, please leave me a comment below telling me how you like it, or use hashtag #feelgoodfoodie on Instagram so I can see (and regram!) your recreations.