This is one of the easiest most festive chicken dishes in the Middle Eastern banquets. It sure adds a smile on everyone’s face especially the little faces. It has a special charm with these bamboo skewers, that really makes everyone want to have some.
Chicken skewers go in the Middle East by the name Shish Taouk/Tawook. Shish kebab is usually made with red meat and not from chicken. The name Shish Taouk is a Turkish name and I believe it spread through the Middle East during the Ottoman period.
Sheesh Tawooq is usually made from chicken thighs and not breast, but you can use any. Also usually it does not have yellow mustard in the marinade, just yogurt and spices but I’ve added it for extra tenderness.
It is all in the marinade guys. This is a typical yogurt marinade made with olive oil, yogurt, lemon/lime juice, garlic, vinegar, and some spices. Tomato paste is used (not pictured above) for the color and a little tartness along with mustard. For the spices besides salt, pepper, and onion powder I have used a little sugar for tenderness, oregano (adds great flavor), and the 7 spice blend. If you want to make your own check out my guide here.
How to make shish tawook
- In a deep bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients well.
- Add the cubes chicken.
- Coast chicken well with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
- Thread the chicken into skewers and grill or bake in the oven
These beautiful skewers are usually served with white or yellow rice, toomeya , tabouleh, hummus dip, or your favorite green salad. An added bonus is that almost ALL kids love it and willing to try it.
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- 8 garlic cloves crushed.
- 1/2 cup yogurt.
- 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard.
- 3 Tablespoons Lime juice about one and a half lime.
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil.
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar.
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder.
- 1 teaspoon black pepper.
- 1 1/4 teaspoon pink salt or to taste. you can use regular table salt.
- 1/2 teaspoon 7 spice blend.
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste.
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano.
- 3 pounds chicken breast cubed.
- Cubed Bell pepper for threading in skewers with chicken.
- In a big bowl combine everything except for the chicken and bell pepper. Mix well.
- Add the chicken, toss to coat well, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Thread chicken and bell pepper into bamboo skewers.
- Grill or place skewers on grilling pan and bake in the middle of your oven for 30 minutes then move up to the upper level for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.