Only a few dishes come to mind when you think about Arab grilled meats, and shish tawook is a favorite.
Shish tawook is by far the most popular grilled chicken dish by a long shot.
This course is very often followed by a course of grilled meats.
And if you are going all out at this dinner you will have even more options.
Arab culture does not require you to eat all the food on your plate.
However, there should be an abundance of food choices for your guests to enjoy.
Shish tawook recipes will vary depending on who is making it and if they have a secret ingredient or not.
But the recipes are generally the same with many of the same flavors and most of all tender chicken.
Marinating chicken breast the right way is what this shish tawook recipe is all about.
Every Arab country has their version of this very Middle Eastern food.
What is Shish Tawook?
Shish tawook is a grilled chicken kebab with a Turkish origin.
Many foods in the Middle East have a connection to Turkey due to the Ottoman Empire.
The word tawook is derived from an old Turkish language word that means chicken.
And the word shish in Turkish is the word for skewer, which aptly names the dish, skewer of chicken.
Turkish kebabs are amazingly good which I thoroughly enjoyed the last time I was in Istanbul.
The grill meals there are just outstanding, period.
Really top class, with everyone enjoying a good night out every once in a while.
To add heat to a dish, we usually rely on side dishes of various kinds.
It gives chicken a certain sweet and perfumy quality that is very enjoyable.
All the other spices make the cardamom flavor come across as a little more subtle.
But you know it is there and can taste it, but you can’t quite place it.
I love it when that happens in cooking.
It makes you savor and wonder, while you become a food detective.
How to Make Shish Tawook
Make the marinade in a large bowl.
Cut the chicken breast into cubes, cover and marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
I like to put all chicken on one skewer and all vegetables on another but you can mix if you like.
Yogurt is a wonderful addition to this meal and even better as a marinade which will actually tenderize the chicken nicely.
A really good option for this marinated chicken is to prepare it and then freeze it for a later date.
Just marinate overnight, place the chicken in a freezer bag and freeze for up to nine months.
When you are ready to use it, defrost it in the fridge overnight and then cook as you would normally.
This is one way to prepare your barbecue meats for quick use, you can also freeze lamb chops this way too.
Tips for Making
- Be sure to allow the chicken to marinate long enough for the spices to permeate the meat.
- Don’t make the chicken cubes too big, or too small for that matter.
- Don’t overcook or your chicken will have a tendency to be dry.
What to Serve It With
I love to grill this outdoors when we have a barbecue on our patio.
Shish Tawook Recipe
- Mix all the ingredients together, and then add the chicken cubes.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours but best overnight.
- Thread chicken cubes onto skewers.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 - 8 minutes per side until done.