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Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs: Shish Taouk

Shish Taouk is a traditional chicken kabob best cooked on the grill. This dish – served at nearly every Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant – has a lemony-garlic punch, pairing well with smokey flavors from the grill.

I’ve been perfecting the below recipe for the years. The recipe is easy enough to make at home and doesn’t require any exotic ingredients. Try it out… I bet it will surpass anything similar you’ve had in restaurants.


  • 1 3/4 pounds chicken cutlets/tenders or cubes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive or canola oil
  • 2-3 tablespoon Dijon or regular mustard (note that many Dijon mustards contain alcohol)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I use 1 tablespoon Kosher salt and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper; this may be a bit too salty for some)
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half (to grill and squeeze over final cooked dish)


  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, mustard, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, and tomato paste.
  2. Add chicken to a gallon-size zip-top bag or casserole dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn to coat and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferable overnight.
  3. Skewer the chicken
  4. Heat the grill and cook over direct heat. Two possible techniques:
    1. Recommended cooking method: use a kamado grill as a tandoor as we described previously. If you follow this technique, heat the grill to about 550 degrees F and cook the chicken for 15 minutes.
    2. Traditional cooking method: Heat the grill to 400-450 degrees F. Place the skewers over direct heat for roughly 4 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  5. Also grill the cut lemon for a few minutes on each side
  6. Remove the chicken from the grill when done. Serve immediately. Squeeze some grilled lemon juice over the chicken just before serving.
Marinated chicken on the skewers, ready to get grilled!
Finished product: Shish Taouk

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