Romanian Chicken Kebabs (Frigarui)

Frigarui on grill

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Marinade Time: 24 hrs
Total: 24 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
530 Calories
30g Fat
33g Carbs
36g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 530
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Sodium 123mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 36g
Calcium 289mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

It is said that shish kebab, also spelled kabob, kebap, kabab, comes from Turkish and refers to meat threaded on a skewer and grilled (literally, kebab means "skewer.")

Kabobs were born over the open field fires of the soldiers of the Turkic tribes who used their swords to grill meat.

This recipe for Romanian chicken kabobs/kebabs or frigarui is made with seasoned chicken only or a combination of chicken and veggies. Frigarui also can be made with pork or beef and sometimes bacon skewered with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and then grilled.

This popular Romanian street food is typically served with a garlic sauce known as mujdei de usturoi. As you might imagine, there are as many versions of this sauce as there are cooks in Romania.


  • For the Chicken:
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes)
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1 ounce mixed chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 ounces plain yogurt
  • For the Garlic Sauce:
  • 1 entire head of garlic (peeled and separated into cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Black pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

Marinate the Chicken

  1. In a plastic zip-top bag, combine 1 ounce mixed chopped herbs, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 2 cloves crushed garlic and 3 ounces plain yogurt.

  2. Add chicken cubes, completely coating all the chicken pieces with marinade, and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, overnight or at least three hours.

Make the Garlic Sauce

  1. Cream the garlic with 1 teaspoon salt until it is of a paste consistency, either on a cutting board with a chef's knife or in a mortar and pestle.

  2. Put the garlic paste in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons oil of choice. Beat with a fork or whisk until it is very well mixed and somewhat fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes.

  3. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and plenty of black pepper. Mix well.

  4. This Romanian garlic sauce goes well with any grilled meat or fish, French fries or baked potatoes, pizza or whatever your heart desires.

Grill the Chicken

  1. Heat the grill. Thread chicken pieces on skewers that have been soaked in water for about an hour so they don't catch fire on the grill.

  2. Grill chicken kebabs on greased grates about 10 to 15 minutes or until done, turning several times while cooking.

  3. These can also be prepared on an indoor grill, under a broiler or in the oven. Serve with the mujjdei de usturoi.

  4. Enjoy!

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.