The word shish originates in Turkey and means “skewer”. Taouk (also spelled Tavuk, pronounced ta-vouk) is also Turkish, and means “chicken”. In Arabic, it can also be spelled tawook/tawouk/tauwos and can refer to other kinds of poultry, such as peacock.
Shish Taouk is popular across the Middle-East and surrounding regions (Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), as well as many kebab houses around the globe. In the Persian cuisine of Iran, a similar dish called jujeh kabab is very popular.
This authentic and original Turkish dish calls for marinated chicken cubes/pieces threaded onto metal skewers with green peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables, and then roasted on an open flame. Once cooked, it is served with toum (garlic paste), vegetables, and rice. It can also be served as a sandwich (similar to shawarma), wrapped in pita bread or lavash, with condiments such as tomato, onion, lettuce, pickled turnips, cucumber, tahini (sesame seed paste), toum (garlic paste), hummus (chick pea and tahini spread), fattoush salad (mixed greens and toasted/fried pita chips), tabbouleh salad (parsley bulghur and vegetables), and/or hot sauce. In more Westernized restaurants, shish taouk can be served with French fries.
Marinades for shish taouk are usually yogurt and/or tomato based, however, many variations exist.