31 January, 2016
SHAWARMA DJEJ – CHICKEN SHAWARMA
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
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.