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31 January, 2016

Shawarma Djej

Posted in : Poultry, Recipes, The Grill on by : el Meza Tags: ,

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This is the home made version of chicken shawarma. And yes! That’s it’s real name. Not shish taouk as we falsly call it in north America!  Everything that goes onto a giant rotating skewer is called shawarma!

When made at home, you can either grill the chicken on the BBQ or on a panini-like grill.
For the spices, you can either buy the pre-mixed chawarma spices, usually found in any lebanese grocery, or simply use the ones im my recipe.


2.5 lbs of skinless boneless chicken breasts

½ cup of lemon juice

4  tbsp of plain yogurt

3 tbsp of white vinegar

1 head of garlic, crushed

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 to 2 tsp of salt (or to taste)

½ tsp of ground oregano (optional)

1 tsp of paprika

½ tsp of ginger powder (optional)

A pinch of nutmeg powder

For sandwiches

Pita bread

Freshly made french fries

Toum (garlic dip)

Lebanese wild cucumber pickles (the color is a very light green) or any savory cucumber pickles

Roasted tomato slices (optional)

Cut each chicken breast horizontally (butterfly cut) into 2 thinner cuts of about ½ inch each (each breast should be split into 2 slices depending on thickness).
Mix all other ingredients in a blender or by hand. Add to a bowl or a big ziploc bag and mix well with the chicken. Let marinate in the fridge about 4 hours or preferably overnight.
When ready, grill the marinated chicken using a panini grill or a BBQ, for about 15 minutes on medium heat.
Once cooked, shred or cut the chicken thinly. It’s now ready to be wrapped into a shawarma sandwich.
Spread the chicken along the diameter of a pita bread, spread a bit of lebanese garlic dip (toum), add some thinly cut pickles, some hot french fries, and some grilled tomatoes (optional). Roll and enjoy!

Try marinating a mix of 75% chicken breast and 25% skinless boneless chicken thighs. The fat in the thighs gives the chicken a nice kick when grilled. Add grilled tomato slices in the sandwich instead of raw tomatoes. Some restaurants add french fries in the sandwich, others add a cabbage/mayo salad. Baking or broiling in the oven will rid the chicken of its juice and must be avoided if possible. We found that using a panini grill cooks faster and keeps the moisture inside the chicken.

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