Preparation Time: 15 minutes + marinating time

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Cut: Boneless chicken


2 lbs (900 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, fillets removed
20 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
4 tsp (20 ml) ground sumac, divided*

5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
6 Tbsp (90 ml) canola oil
3 Tbsp (45 ml) Za’atar spice blend*
1 lemon, juiced & zested
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh rosemary
1 small Serrano chili, seeded and minced (use a jalapeno if less heat is desired)
2 tsp (10 ml) dried marjoram
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Tahini Sumac Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup (60 ml) Tahini paste**
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup (125 ml) plain Greek yogurt
½ tsp (2.5 ml) sea salt

Note: Ground sumac and Za’atar are spices often used in Middle Eastern recipes.  Look for them at spice shops and some bulk food stores. Or make your own Za’atar using the recipe below.

Note: Tahini paste is made from ground sesame seeds. It’s available at larger grocery stores, health food stores and some bulk food stores.


Slice each chicken breast lengthwise into 4-5 strips and place in a re-sealable bag. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients.

Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag, seal the bag and turn gently so marinade coats all the chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).

In a blender, combine 1 tsp ground sumac and all the dipping sauce ingredients; blend until smooth. Add a little water or more lemon juice if sauce is a little too thick. Refrigerate until needed (can be made a day ahead).Thread the chicken onto the skewers. Throw out the marinade.

Heat grill to medium-high and spray grates with non-stick spray. Grill the skewers, turning once, until cooked to 165F (74C) (about 4-5 minutes on each side). Transfer grilled chicken to a serving platter.

Sprinkle skewers with the remaining sumac and serve with Tahini Sumac Dipping Sauce.

Beverage Pairing

ZA'ATAR SPICE BLEND (about ½ cup)
¼ cup (60 ml) ground sumac
2 Tbsp (30 ml) dried marjoram
1 Tbsp (15 ml) EACH dried thyme and dried oregano
2 Tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame seeds
1-1 ½ tsp (5 - 7.5 ml) coarse sea salt
1/8 tsp (0.75 ml) cayenne powder

Mix all the ingredients and store in a tightly sealed glass jar.

As seen on Great Tastes of Manitoba 2016