Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook) marinated with yogurt, garlic and spices before grilling.
Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs (Shish Tawook)
The first kebabs I put on the site were a huge hit with you all. And while lemon garlic skewers are delicious, this is a more classic representation of a Middle Eastern kebabs.
Why use yogurt in a marinade? Yogurt breaks down and tenderize chicken breast so its more tender after grilling. In many ethnic cuisines it is used in marinades. It also acts as a barrier that helps the chicken keeps its moisture when cooked on a grill or grill pan.
Other tips for these Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs:
- I used metal skewers for this recipe to provide more stability for the meat and to avoid soaking the wood skewers.
- If using wood, soak the wooden skewers before grilling them. I start soaking before doing anything else, then just thread the chicken on. No need to dry them.
- Add in more herbs as you like them. People LOVE rosemary with Greek dishes.
- Try not to overcook, white meat chicken will tend to dry out before dark meat. Just a few minutes on each side is plenty.
You can also just create your own Middle Eastern Spice Mix and sprinkle that on the kabobs for an easy grilling without a recipe option all summer long.
Middle Eastern Spice Mix Recipe:
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Mix the ingredients and add to a covered container for use within three months.
Tools Used in the making of these Middle Eastern Chicken Skewers:
Grill/Griddle: This combo lives on the center two burners of my oven because it’s so useful. Grilling on this pan is a breeze, I often use it even in the summer to avoid prepping the whole grill.
Wooden Skewers: Inexpensive but these require soaking before using so they don’t catch on fire. Plus they’re recyclable.
Metal Skewers: Skip the soaking, these are great and because they’re flat the skewer ingredients won’t spin.
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fat free greek yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 pound chicken breasts boneless skinless
- Add all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Heat the grill or grill pan onto medium-high heat.
- Skewer onto a metal skewer (make sure to leave a bit of space between the chunks of chicken).
- Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.