The dish consists of cubes of chicken that are marinated, then skewered and grilled. Common marinades are based upon yogurt and lemon juice or tomato puree, though there are many variations. Shish taouk is typically eaten with toum (garlic paste).
Shish or Şiş means skewer in Turkish (it has been adopted in Lebanese-Arabic and Syrian-Arabic dialects, although seekh is the word for skewer in classical Arabic); and taouk or tavuk (pronounced "tah-wouk") means chicken in Turkish. Tawook can refer to other kinds of poultry, e.g., peacock (tawouk/tauwos in Arabic طاووس).
Methods of serving
The Turkish version is served with rice and a garlic paste along with vegetables. The Lebanese version is usually served with hummus and tabbouleh. The sandwich version comes in a flat bread or pita seasoned with garlic paste, frequently accompanied by lettuce, tomatoes, and pickled turnips. It is widely eaten in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, either as a sandwich or on a platter with vegetables, sometimes with chips/French fries.