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Shish Taouk (Chicken Skewers)

Ruth Shikanov

Grilling skewers is an age-old tradition in my family. We typically grill when the sun doesn’t set at 4 p.m., the air is warm and sounds of bugs and birds fill our backyard.

On the grill is sizzling meat and vibrant vegetables, balanced with aromatic spices. Grilling might be mundane, yet it is another method of cooking that is a part of my “culinary portfolio.” There is a flavor that cannot be replicated elsewhere and the minimal ingredients embraces simplicity — sometimes less is truly more.

Grilling in the winter may have been out of the ordinary, but there was a smile on my face as my dad and I stood in the freezing cold, watching the coal turn a glowy orange and the steam of the meat evaporate into the air.

My dad is kind of like my partner in crime when it comes to cooking; I’m not his sous-chef or fry cook, and he is not mine. My relationship with food is heavily influenced by my cooking journey with my father. I have learned many lessons in the kitchen that go beyond learning how to cut an onion correctly or creating a smooth Bechamel; cooking is about versatility and brings people together.

I am so grateful to my dad and all we have cooked together. I hope that we always get to continue grilling, whether it be in the snow or the blazing sun.


2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into large chunks)
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves crushed
1 white onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper


1) In a large bowl, add the ingredients for the marinade: yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste and all the seasonings. Whisk to combine. Put the chicken cubes in the same bowl. Cut the white onion and place in the bowl, thoroughly tossing it with the chicken.

2) Cover and let it rest in the fridge for at least four hours, or overnight.

3) Once ready, put the chicken on skewers right before grilling. Grill on medium heat for five to eight minutes per side. Serve with pita bread, lettuce, rice and herbs!

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About the Contributor
Ruth Shikanov
Ruth Shikanov, Print Editor-in-Chief
This is Ruth's seventh semester on staff and first year as one of the Print Editors-in-Chief. You can typically find her commuting between her classes or doing homework, but in her free time, Ruth enjoys being outside, walking her dog, Juno, reading, going on runs near Bandemer and trying new recipes. She cannot wait for all of the amazing work that will be created in Room 300!

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