Like me, I am guessing most of you do not likely have a large, rotating spike in your kitchen or the need for many, many pounds of delicious carved meat.
However, you may sometimes wish you could enjoy a “simulated” version of Shawarma without having to visit a restaurant. If you are craving something with a bit of a Middle Eastern flavour, then today’s Chicken Tuesday – “Sorta Shawarma” recipe just might hit the spot.
Middle Eastern Themed Dinner
Last month, I felt like making something a bit different and decided on a Middle Eastern theme:
- Chicken Shawarma
- Tabouli (Tabouleh)
- Hummus with Garlic and Caramelized Onions
- and Pita Bread
Regretfully, I made the tabouli from a package mix, and while it was okay… I’ve had much better. I think this was a different brand than I tried before. I’ve also had fresh from the deli counter and in restaurants and perhaps that spoiled me. Next time, I may try making it from scratch. Oh, for those of you wondering what Tabouli is, it’s a salad made with bulgar wheat, tomatoes and parsley etc.
I did make the hummus from scratch… Well, okay I used canned chickpeas because I decided starting from dried ones was not worth the trouble for one batch of hummus. I sort of mixed and matched a few different recipes to make the hummus and it turned out quite tasty. If you are not in the mood to make your own, I highly recommend the Fontaine Sante brand. I am not sure if is available outside of Quebec, but their different hummus varieties (including caramelized onion) are really good. However, making your own will be fresh, you’ll know what is in it, and it is more economical.
I seriously considered making my own pita bread, but in the end I opted to buy some whole wheat pitas (the store brand was on sale).
Now on to the chicken… I bought this huge jar of tahini/tahina (ground sesame seed paste). Anyone know how come they sell this in such big jars?? Anyway, after buying this to make the hummus, I started wondering what else I could use it for. I already had plans to try making baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip) one day, but that was about it. I started searching around online, and the following recipe is my variation on a few different ones I found – thus, why I call this “Sorta Shawarma”. I’ve made this a few times since. It’s quite versatile… we even used it on homemade pizza!
2-3 pounds chicken (*see note below)
- 1-4 cloves garlic, crushed/minced (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 TBSP lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3-4 TBSP of Tahini
- 1 tsp dried oregano flakes
- 1 tsp dried basil flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Use whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) if you plan to BBQ/grill.
- Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) cut into bite-size pieces or strips if want to pan/stir-fry.
- Use chicken pieces (bone in, with or without skin), if you want to bake in the oven.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
- Place chicken in a shallow container or Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over chicken and coat well. Marinate at least one hour or overnight in the fridge.
- Depending on cooking method, place chicken on grill, or in pan. Discard any remaining marinade.
- When cooking on the grill… ask your hubby to do it! Ha Ha I don’t BBQ, but after doing a bit of research, it should take about 4-5 minutes per side. If you’re really not sure (even though you’re not supposed to do this), hubby always cuts it open and checks to make sure there’s no pink left inside.
- To stir-fry, heat a wok or pan, with a bit of oil (about a TBSP). Cook chicken until browned, and turn over and cook until the other side is browned.
- For chicken pieces (bone-in), bake at 350°F for about 45 minute to 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F.
As I mentioned, this chicken is very versatile and very tasty. You can serve the chicken:
- on it’s own (with some side dishes)
- sliced up and in a pita or wrap
- added to a pasta or rice dish
- or even as a pizza ingredient!
So, do you feel like making this for Chicken “Sorts Shawarma” Tuesday?