When I cook and especially when I grill, I think the marinade and seasoning make the meal. I love to use a lot of different seasonings. From week to week I may have almost the same fresh foods from the farmers market in the summer but depending on the seasonings that same food can become a completely different meal. A lot of the time I just toss in different flavors, but other times I actually take inspiration from recipes. Sunday we had a simple grilled meal with middle eastern flavors.
The below recipe was originally found in a Cooking Light Chicken Tonight cookbook, but Shawarma, which refers to a type of meat preparation where a variety of meat is placed over a grill or a spit for a period of time often an entire day and then shaved into a sandwich type meal, so you could easily substitute the chicken with lamb, turkey, or beef. The original recipe called for cutting the chicken prior to grilling as smaller bite size pieces are needed. However, I think chicken stays juicer and more moist when cooked in larger pieces and sliced for eating.
Chicken Shawarma 4 servings
1 pound skinless boneless chicken
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
Mix all the above ingredients together and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes at room temperature. While the chicken is marinating you can prepare your sauce and toppings.
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside until your chicken is ready to eat.
4 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets, cut in half or Whole Wheat Naan Bread
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Grill your chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side. During the last 2 minutes put your bread of choice on the grill and lightly grill for 1 minute on each side. Remove from grill and allow to sit for a minute and then slice into smaller strips or bite size pieces.
Assembling your shawarma. If using Naan bread you will basically create a salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chicken) atop the bread. Finish it off with the sauce and then fold it to eat. If using a pita pocket you will put all ingredients into your pocket and top with the sauce.
The recipe makes enough sauce for about 2 Tbsp per serving.