Shish tawook, chicken taouk, or Lebanese marinated chicken kebabs or heaven on a stick.

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Kebabs) l SimplyScratch.com

Lebanese cuisine is at the tippy-top of my favorites. Not only because it tends to be healthful, but also you’ll find robust spices, lots of lemon and there’s usually tons of garlic involved. Which translates to delicious flavor injected into the recipes and the food. And let’s be real there’s that garlic sauce!!!  

In my tawook recipe, I marinate bite-size pieces of both (boneless and skinless) chicken thighs and thin-cut chicken breasts in fresh squeezed lemon juice, lots of garlic and a plethora of spices. After marinating, the chicken is then threaded onto wooden skewers and grilled.

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Kebabs) l SimplyScratch.com

The smell coming off of your grill is spectacular. I swear I could feel my neighbors peeking at me from out of there windows and from around the corner on their back decks. They’re probably wondering “why in the heck  is she taking pictures while grilling?”… but I’m pretty sure the mouth-watering smell brought them out in the first place.

 

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First thing to do is soak your skewers, if using wooden bamboo ones. Metal skewers, obviously wont need it… but bamboo do. Soak for at the very least 45 minutes to 1 hour. Water soaked skewers are less likely to catch fire on the grill.

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Start by placing 1 pound of each boneless and skinless chicken thighs and thin-cut breasts into a large bowl. I use thin cut chicken breast because when it’s cut into bite-size pieces it’s the same thickness as the thighs.

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Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt…

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…1 teaspoon ground cardamom…

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…1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and paprika…

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…1/2 teaspoon ground sumac berries and 1/4 teaspoon of both ground cinnamon and white pepper.

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Then grate in 4 medium-ish cloves of garlic. Grating garlic is the best way to get garlic into a dressing or marinade. Whereas mincing garlic leaves you with larger  pieces of garlic that will burn up or fall off the chicken, grated garlic sort of melts into the dressing or marinade and sticks to the meat better.

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Squeeze the juice from a large and juicy lemon. It almost doesn’t fit in my juicing contraption.

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Lastly, add in 2 tablespoons of safflower, sunflower or extra light olive oil. Any high-heat safe oil will work.

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Then use tongs to toss and combine. Cover and marinate on the counter top for 20-30 minutes.

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Then drain the water from your skewers, and thread! I alternate thigh and breast meat so that each skewer gets a little of each. Plus my OCD brain won’t allow it any other way.

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Place on your grill that is HOT and has been preheated to medium-high. Once the chicken are on the grill, I reduce the heat to medium and cook, rotating the skewers until fully cooked, which is anywhere between 5-8 minutes. A hot grill will cook these quickly and give you good grill marks, just remember to turn it to medium to avoid over cooking or burning. And watch those skewers! There’s still a chance they will catch fire even if they’ve been soaked, so don’t venture too far from the grill.

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Kebabs) l SimplyScratch.com

Glorious!

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Kebabs) l SimplyScratch.com

As you can see, the ends of some of my skewers still caught fire and some just blackened. It happens.

However, the chicken is perfect. Which is the most important part amiright? It’s moist, flavorful and so darn easy! You now have a few choices on how to serve this; you can either slide the grilled chicken off of the skewers (once cooled, of course) and dunk into garlic dip and eat, or place the chicken pieces on warm pita bread and top with tomatoes, cucumber and onion for a sandwich. OR top a veggie-loaded salad with it… which is what I tend to do most often.

Shish tawook, I heart you.

Check back tomorrow where I’ll be sharing with you how to make Lebanese garlic sauce (aka toum)! You DO NOT want to miss this!

Try this shish tawook in my Chicken Tawook Salad!

Enjoy!

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Kebabs) l SimplyScratch.com

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Skewers)
Yield: 10-12 skewers or 4 to 6

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Skewers)

Bite-size pieces of both (boneless and skinless) chicken thighs and thin-cut chicken breasts marinated in fresh squeezed lemon juice, lots of garlic and a plethora of spices. After marinating, the chicken is then threaded onto wooden skewers and grilled. You then can either slide the grilled chicken off of the skewers (once cooled, of course) and dunk into garlic dip and eat, or place the chicken pieces on warm pita bread and top with tomatoes, cucumber and onion for a sandwich. OR top a veggie-loaded salad.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, thin-cut chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons safflower, sunflower or extra light olive oil
  • 10 to 12 wooden skewers, soaked for at least 1 or more hours in water
  • minced parsley, for serving
  • Lebanese garlic sauce (toum), for serving

Instructions

In a large bowl toss chicken with salt, cardamom, sumac, oregano, paprika, cinnamon, white pepper, ground clove and nutmeg. Grate in 4 cloves of garlic and squeeze in the juice from a large and juicy lemon. Lastly, pour in 2 tablespoons of oil.

Toss to combine, cover and marinate on the counter for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat your grill to medium-high heat (about 500-600 degrees).

Once the chicken has marinated, thread onto the soaked skewers. Alternating between thigh and breast meat so each skewer has a little of both.

Place the skewers on the hot grill grates, immediately turn the heat down to medium and close the cover. Cook for only a few minutes before using tongs and turning the kebabs. Once the chicken is fully cooked (after about 5 to 8 minutes) remove from the grill.

Slide chicken off of the skewers and serve as is, in pita with tomato, cucumber and onion as a sandwich or on top of a salad. Either way, be sure to serve it with garlic sauce.

Shish Tawook (Lebanese Marinated Chicken Kebabs) l SimplyScratch.com