Meat & Poultry

Greek Shish Tawook

25 min Cook
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The combination of lemon, garlic, red pepper, cumin, oregano, and black pepper cooked with tender, juicy chicken thighs makes this a weekly sometimes bi-weekly tradition. It’s quick, easy, and most of all, it is absolutely delicious. You can certainly use chicken breast, however, I prefer chicken thighs. 

This is Arabic inspired dish.  After living over 16 years in the Middle East, Shish Tawook become my weekly meal.  I learned to make Shish Tawook but I had two recipes:  one from Lebanon, and the other from Kuwait.  Let’s say my version is a happy compromise between the two recipes.  

boneless skinless chicken thighs

Fresh boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Besides having an intense flavor because the thighs are “the dark meat,” the dark meat is also great for the Keto diet since about 70%-75% of your macros are fat.

Marinate in a bag instead of a bowl. 

I start with marinating the chicken thighs in a bag, for at least four hours.  Ideally, you want to do this overnight in the refrigerator.  But if you forget, take the chicken out of the refrigerator right when you come home from work.  Start your marination process and let it sit for one hour.  The 1 hour is better than no marination.  

Using a resealable bag, add the lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper, black pepper, salt, garlic, oregano, and cumin powder; remove the air, and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. 

shish tarok chicken thighs

Remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you cook, and let it come to room temperature.  

After two hours, remove it from the bag, and lay the chicken thighs on a baking sheet.  You can line your baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil if you want an easy clean-up after you are done cooking. 

Greek Shish Tawook

Greek Shish Tawook

This is one of my other all-time favorite chicken dishes. A little spin on the traditional Arabic version that uses Cayenne pepper. I used Kashmiri red pepper, which imparts more color than it does heat.
prep time
2 hours
cooking time
25 min
total time
2 hours and 25 min


  • Large resealable bag

  • Baking Tray

  • Parchment paper or Aluminum Foil


  • 2 lbs. (~900 grams) boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 Tbsp. Kashmiri Red Chili Powder (or paprika)

  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin Powder

  • 1 Tsp salt

  • 1 Tsp black pepper

  • 1 Tsp oregano

  • Juice of 2 lemons


Clean and wash your chicken. (Yes, I was my chicken).
Juice your 2 lemons.
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic cloves, Kashmiri Chili (or Paprika), and cumin powder. Set aside.
Add your chicken to a resealable bag.
Pour the mixture over the chicken ensuring all pieces get coated. Remove all the air and seal. Flatten it out on the counter and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
On a baking tray (with or without parchment paper or aluminum foil) lay your chicken thighs flat, smooth side up.
Place in preheated 400 F degree oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crispy brown.
Enjoy! Bon Appetit! Kali Orexi!


Serve this with a side of roasted green beans or roasted asparagus and side salad. I have a convection oven, so I can roast my vegetables while the chicken is roasting. However, you must remove the vegetable after 15 minutes at such a high temperature.

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