Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Chicken Shawarma


I've been trying Chicken Shawarma recipes for years and finally created a recipe we absolutely love.  John complimented me on it multiple times tonight as we ate and again after.  I wish I'd followed my inclination and taken a picture of my plate because it came together as a pretty meal once it was plated up.

I had put Chicken Shawarma on our menu plan for the warmer months because it can be grilled or cooked on the stovetop.  Tonight I baked it in the oven which worked very well.  

To arrive at this recipe, I sat down and read several and then combined similar elements.  Then I read through all the recipes and determined what I had on hand and what sounded good to me.  I made up a combination of spices that were well-balanced.  I plan to make this mixture up in bulk and keep it on hand for ease in preparing this dish.

You'll note that ground cloves and ground coriander are included.  I highly recommend you use both ingredients.  The cloves add depth and the coriander is almost floral and balances out the cloves nicely. I no longer had ground coriander on hand, but I did have whole coriander seeds which I crushed and used.

Not all Shawarma recipes include yogurt.  I have tried recipes that do and recipes that don't.  I think the yogurt helps hold moisture in the chicken and keeps the spice mixture on the meat.  

For tonight's meal I cut the chicken into strips but you can leave the pieces whole if you'd like.  I knew I was going to cook mine in the oven this evening.

Do give it a try.  I'll share serving suggestions with the recipe.

Chicken Shawarma

Serves 4.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (you could also use boneless skinless thighs)

1/2 cup thick Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. of each:  Turmeric, Garlic, Paprika, ground Coriander, Cumin

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Juice of half a lemon

1 whole onion cut into thin strips

Olive oil

Warm pitas

Combine the yogurt, spices, seasoning, and lemon juice.  Mix well.  Add chicken and coat well.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

On a foil-lined sheet pan, pour enough olive oil to coat the foil.  Top with the onion slices and then lay chicken over the top of the onions.  I spread any remaining yogurt mixture over the top of this, too.

Bake at 425F for about 15 minutes.  Pour off any accumulated watery juices in the bottom of the pan and return to the oven to cook for another 10 minutes.*remember this was for sliced strips of meat, not whole pieces.  Use a thermometer to ensure meat is at a safe temperature if cooking whole pieces.

Serve meat and cooked onions in a warm pita. 

Serving suggestion: Rice Pilaf, Cucumber, Tomato, and Feta Salad, Pickled Red Onion, Warm Pita.   We topped our meat with pickled onions too.  This was so very good.

Rice Pilaf simply means rice cooked with other ingredients.  I made my own, you can buy boxed mixes.  You could also substitute Couscous.  

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