This shish taouk, middle Eastern grilled chicken, is first rubbed with a paste of garlic, oil, and sumac and then grilled. It’s served with a pomegranate-tamarind sauce. Spectacularly exotic yet still surprisingly familiar.
The combination of a sumac and garlic rub for grilled chicken along with a sweet and tangy pomegranate-tamarind sauce would be sufficiently beguiling. And yet it gets even better when you realize this recipe couldn’t be simpler. Rub the chicken, plop it on the grill, sit back, and relax. Sounds like a perfect evening to us.–Angie Zoobkoff
Shish Taouk | Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- For the chicken
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sumac
- One (3-pound) whole chicken
- 11 ounces boneless skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 thighs)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the pomegranate-tamarind sauce
- 4 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 6 1/2 tablespoons water
- 5 ounces peeled walnuts, chopped and toasted if desired
- 6 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
- Olive oil
- Make the chicken
- 1. Preheat a grill to high.
- 2. In a medium bowl combine the crushed garlic cloves with the olive oil and sumac.
- 3. Butterfly the chicken, flatten it out a bit with a rolling pin and place 2 skewers in a cross shape through the butterflied chicken to keep it flat during grilling. Rub with 2/3 of the garlic mixture and season with salt and pepper.
- 4. Season the chicken thigh with salt and pepper and thread the chicken onto metal skewers. Slather the rest of the garlic mixture onto the chicken thighs.
- 5. Grill the butterflied chicken over indirect heat until golden brown and cooked, 40 to 60 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the chicken skewers and grill until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Make the pomegranate-tamarind sauce
- 6. In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine the tamarind paste, water, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. Bring to a simmer then season with pepper, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside the chicken.