Marinated spiced chicken is cooked in a nonstick skillet until perfectly charred and juicy, then served in a tortilla wrap with crisp lettuce, sliced onion and tomatoes, creamy kebab shop style garlic sauce, and chili-mayo yogurt sauce!
Flatten the chicken: Place a large piece of cling wrap on a cutting board, then place a chicken breast on top, followed by another layer of cling wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken breast to flatten it until it is ½-inch thick and even. Transfer to a bowl/plate and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
Marinate the chicken: Combine all the ingredients for the Chicken Shish except the olive oil in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix with a spoon until evenly combined. Add the flattened chicken breasts to the bowl and mix to coat. Cover with cling wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 4 hours, or overnight for best flavor.
Cook the chicken: Remove the bowl of marinated chicken from the fridge 30-60 minutes before you plan to cook. Let it sit on the counter to take the chill off. When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet or cast-iron pan. Working in batches of two chicken breasts at a time, shake the excess marinade off the chicken breasts and place in the pan once the oil is hot. Cook for 2 minutes, then use tongs to turn the chicken breasts over and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Using tongs in one hand and kitchen shears in the other, lift the chicken breasts and cut into thick strips, then into bite-sized pieces. Continue cooking while tossing occasionally for 2-4 more minutes, until the chicken is nicely charred on the outside and cooked through. (Note: While cooking the chicken, some of the marinade will inevitably burn and blacken due to the marinade being a yogurt-based one. Don’t worry though – simply scrape off and discard any burnt bits that form in the pan as you cook. The chicken will still get cooked to charry outside and juicy inside perfection.) Transfer to a clean plate and place in the oven to keep warm. Add more oil to the pan and cook the remaining chicken pieces.
Make the Garlic Sauce and Chili Mayo-Yogurt Sauce: Mix together all the ingredients for the garlic sauce in a small bowl, then set aside until ready to use. In a separate small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the chili-mayo yogurt sauce, then set aside.
Assemble the Chicken Shish Rolls: Tear 4 long sheets of aluminum foil and place on a kitchen counter or flat work surface. Place a tortilla (or other flatbread) on top of each sheet of foil. Top the center of the tortillas with romaine lettuce, sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, and other toppings of choice. Pile on the chicken shish and drizzle with garlic sauce, chili mayo-yogurt sauce, etc. Then roll tightly and fold the ends of the foil over to the center.
Place under panini press: Working in batches if needed, place the kebabs under a hot flat-faced panini press or griddle sandwich press (or in a clean skillet or on a griddle pan over medium heat with a large plate and heavy mug on top if you don’t own one) for 4-8 minutes.
Serve: Serve immediately and enjoy!
Nutritional information: The nutritional information provided is for the chicken shish only as values will differ based on bread and toppings of choice and amount of sauce used when assembling the kebabs.
Can I make this ahead? You can marinate the chicken and make the garlic sauce and chili-mayo yogurt sauce a day in advance. Store the sauces in a sealed airtight container in the fridge and consume within 5-7 days.
Storing: While the chicken shish will taste best immediately after cooking, it will keep in the fridge in a sealed airtight container for 3-4 days. Remove the chicken from the fridge 10 minutes before you assemble and place the kebab rolls under a panini press as instructed in step 5 and 6. If using the skillet and plate method to toast the kebab rolls, microwave the chicken on high for 30 seconds before assembling and placing the kebab rolls in the skillet with the plate and heavy mug on top.
Chicken: I used boneless and skinless chicken breasts since it’s commonly used to make chicken shish. However, you can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you like.
Leaving the chicken whole vs. cutting into bite-sized pieces: While I’ve left the chicken whole in the marinade because I like getting a good sear on the breasts before cutting them into bite-sized pieces (and because this is what my favorite kebab shop does), you can cut the pieces into bite-sized pieces before adding it to the marinade and then pan-fry it for 6-10 minutes. It will cook quicker this way, so you’ll need to be careful about not overcooking and drying the pieces out. If cutting into bite-sized pieces, you also have the option to thread the marinated chicken onto skewers and either cook on the griddle or grill for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through and nicely charred.
To cook the chicken on a grill or griddle pan:
To cook on the grill: Brush olive or vegetable oil on the grill grates and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium fire, turning once or twice, until the chicken is nice and charred on the outside and the center has cooked through. Then transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.
To cook on a griddle/grill pan: Brush oil on the griddle/grill pan and cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes, turning once or twice, until the chicken is charred on the outside and cooked through in the center. Then cut into bite-sized pieces.
Alternative ways to serve chicken shish: Serve over a salad or rice, or with chips (fries) and roasted/grilled veggies, toasted pita bread, and plenty of garlic sauce, chili-mayo yogurt sauce, and mint-yogurt sauce instead of in kebab rolls/wraps.