Better known as ‘Shish Tawook’ – Shish Ta Who?! Shish Tawook!

Welcome, Michael, a new top contributor to Home Pressure Cooking. Michael will be sharing some very simple, exotic, and not your everyday pot roast type of recipes.

Tawook

Tawook is the name of a very famous dish from Lebanon. Usually, in a pita wrap or sandwich form, this delicious dish is arguably the most famous Lebanese sandwich. It is also made available in platter form in many cases, served over rice with a side of hummus or vegetables.

Best of all, it can be easily prepared in an instant pot or pressure cooker!

Why Shish Tawook?

My father is Lebanese, and I spent almost a decade enjoying the authentic flavors of Shish Tawook recipes across the country.

Instant Pot 'Shish Tawook' - Mediterranean Chicken
Shish Tawook on a pita

Although the recipe is Lebanese, the name of the dish comes from Turkey. Shish means skewers and tawook means chicken. The Ottoman (Turkish) Empire occupied Lebanon for centuries. That explains a lot when it comes to Turkish influence on Lebanese food!

How do you feel about perfectly tender and juicy chicken that’s been marinating in yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic? I feel so good about this recipe, and I know you will too!

Preparing Shish Tawook

My Tawook recipe focuses on the marinade.

Shish Tawook Marinaded
Marinaded Shish Tawook

I’ve tried many different tweaks and this recipe has long been my favorite!

Generally, the most central ingredients to the marinade are yogurtlemon juice, and garlic (4-6 garlic cloves!). I’ve also found that incorporating tomato paste yields that iconic, rich red color. Other Middle-Eastern spices commonly used: 7 spice, paprika, cinnamon, oregano, and ginger.

Tips for the Best Shish Tawook

  1. Marinade the chicken for 5 hours or more (overnight if you can) in the refrigerator to let the chicken tenderize. This will guarantee more juicy and flavor-rich chicken!
  2. When you remove the chicken from the pot, immediately cover it up in pita bread and wrap it tightly. I never realized why my parents always did this when I was a boy living in Lebanon. Recently, I found out that the pita wraps help seal in the vapor and moisture to yield even more juicy chicken!
  3. I strongly suggest using plain yogurt if possible and avoiding Greek yogurt. This is because the water content from plain yogurt helps keep the chicken moist.

It’s truly a challenge to mess up this dish. It most often will come out moist and flavorful. This makes it a great ingredient to add to saladsricegrain bowls or just plain pita bread with garlic sauce.

Instant Pot 'Shish Tawook' - Mediterranean Chicken

Anyway, enough with the stories, and onto the Shish Tawook recipe:

A picture of Shish Tawook on a plate.

Instant Pot Shish Tawook

Debbie
Instant Pot Shish Tawook
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 50 mins
Marinading Time 6 hrs
Total Time 11 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 servings
Calories 280 kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt whole milk is best
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed is best
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger ground
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. 7 spices find this at your international grocery store

Instructions
 

  • Cube the chicken into roughly one-inch chunks.
    Chicken Shish Tawook on a cutting board.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the marinade (yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, all seasonings and salt/pepper) and whisk or stir to combine.
    Shish Tawook Marinaded
  • Cook in Instant Pot on HIGH (Slow cooker option) for 4-6 hours (I find that approximately 4.5-5 hours is best with mine).
  • Your Instant Pot Shish Tawook is now ready to be served! Serve either with garlic paste in a pita, or with a salad or over rice.
Instant Pot Mediterranean Chicken
Mediterranean Chicken in the Instant Pot

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