Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Skewers (aka Chicken Shawarma)

by Jul 22, 2016


Take chicken dinner from regular to WOW! with this spicy yogurt marinade and a set of skewers.  In the morning, or even just an hour before dinner, mix up the simple marinade, slice the chicken breasts, and marinate.  Ten minutes is all it takes to cook the chicken (bbq or broiler), so you even have time to make pita and cooling cucumber raita.  Thanks to Saveur magazine for the original recipe (May 2015).


Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips:

  • Simple raita: stir some small diced cucumber into plain yogurt with a pinch of salt, squeeze of lemon juice, and some mint or parsley
  • If you’re using bamboo skewers instead of metal, soak them for an hour in water so they won’t burn during cooking
  • Tote along for camping by marinating the chicken in a gallon-sized plastic bag
  • Give yourself freedom with the spices, just aim for a total of 2 tablespoons – any tandoori blend would work great!
Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Skewers (aka Chicken Shawarma)

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Slice chicken breasts into 1/4-inch thick slices
  2. Mix garlic + salt, yogurt, olive oil, and spices in a medium sized glass or ceramic bowl. Add chicken and mix to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. Heat grill or broiler (rack 4-inches below flame). Thread chicken slices onto skewers and discard remaining marinade. Place chicken skewers in a single layer on broiling pan, or directly onto heated grill. Cook for five minutes then turn over to cook five more minutes on other side. Check temperature with an instant read thermometer - should register 155 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest ten minutes before serving (temperature will rise 5 - 10 degrees).
  4. Serve with raita and pita bread. Enjoy!

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