The popular grilled chicken kebabs of Lebanon and Syria, called shīsh tawuq in Arabic, are probably of Turkish origin, from the Turkish word for chicken, tavuk. As with so many grilled foods in the Arab world, this preparation is traditionally served at special grill restaurants in Lebanon and it is quite famous in south asia too.
Every cook uses, it seems, a different spice blend, so I give you some options to play with. Serve these hot as a passed appetizer or at a sit down dinner or meze party. If you are serving it as a passed appetizer, use 6- or 8-inch wooden skewers with fewer pieces of meat on them. You may have to cut the skewers down to size.
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast trimmed of any fat and cut into cubes.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
- 1 small onion, grated
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds (from about 20 pods)
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon paprika (optional)
- 10 inch wooden or metal skewers
How to make Grilled Chicken Kebabs
- Marinate the chicken cubes in a glass or ceramic bowl or pan with the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, cinnamon, cardamom, thyme, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika, if using, for 6 hours, covered, in the refrigerator, turning the cubes occasionally.
- Preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high or prepare a hot charcoal fire.
- Skewer the chicken cubes so they touch each other but do not press against each other. If possible, use a skewer rack so the chicken grills without touching the grilling grate.
- Grill until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes, turning frequently.
The Grilled Chicken Kebabs is ready to be served, I hope you enjoy this recipe.