Homechicken Shawarma


Posted in : chicken, dinner, easy, food, grill, intermediate, international, marinade, recipe, Spice, spicy on by : Jeanette Rueb Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One of my first truly inspired meals in a long time, shawarma is a newfound comfort food of mine. If you love spices and dig marinades, then this recipe is going to become a staple for you this grilling season. It smells amazing from the start, and when you taste it, you’ll be hooked for life. This recipe comes with a yogurt sauce, and it’s intended to be eaten in a wrap. You can also try to kebab it, but stuffing lettuce and tomato onto a stick might not be the easiest task.

To assemble your wrap, you can use a flatbread like naan, which isn’t *technically* the right kind of flatbread, but it’ll be easy enough to find if you have a Trader Joe’s in town (it’s in their cooler aisle and is totally yum). Otherwise, just use tortillas. DO NOT USE BREAD. Trust me, just don’t. It throws off the ratio. Just make a lettuce wrap if you’re totally stuck on breads. Once you have your wrapping material, smother it with a layer of the yogurt dip, followed by the veg, and lastly, the meat. Wrap, eat, enjoy.

This is an overnight marinade. Just so you don’t go, “aw man, this looks great, I’m gonna make it for dinner tonight,” then get through the ingredients list and find that the last mystery ingredients are patience and disappointment. As you’ll also see from the first ingredient, four pounds of chicken, this also makes a lot more food than my usual recipes. Don’t worry, it reheats like a dream.

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In hindsight, cutting it into thinner strips might have worked better, but this was easier to grill. If you’re making it in a skillet, cut the chicken a bit smaller.

For The Marinade:
4 lbs Chicken breasts, sliced in half laterally
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp Lemon juice
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Thyme
1 tbp Oregano
1 tbsp Ground ginger
1 tbsp Cinnamon (don’t get scared and skimp on this)
1 tbsp Caraway seed, crushed
1 tbsp Smoked paprika
2 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Coriander seed, crushed
1/2 tbsp Cardamom
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Black pepper
1-2 tbsp Cayenne pepper (use less if you don’t like it spicy)
4-5 whole Dried chilies (I don’t recommend leaving these out)

For The Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup Plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp each Salt and pepper

8 Flatbreads or tortillas
2 large, firm Tomatoes
1 head Lettuce

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In a large bowl, ideally with a lid, throw in your cut chicken and your marinade ingredients. Mix everything up with either a pair of tongs or clean fingers and make sure everything is well-coated. Cover the bowl and set it in the fridge for 24-48 hours. You can also make and marinate in the morning, but letting everything really soak and giving it a shake every 12 hours or so imparts phenomenal flavor.

When you’re ready to grill, and I do recommend grilling, preheat to 400-450 degrees F. Lay out the chicken fillets and cook for 8-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. While they’re cooking, mix up your yogurt sauce by throwing all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing.

Assemble as instructed above or, if you’re not interested in that level of involvement, just eat the chicken as it is and dip it in the yogurt sauce. Whatever you do, it’ll be delicious.

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