Shawarma, the burrito of the Middle East!
Shawarma or (Shawerma) شاورما is one of my favorite fast food dishes!!! I still cannot decide which I like better chicken or meat?!?! As both are yummy… I once had a turkey shawarma – when I was in one of my health eating frenzies – and another time I had Pasterma shawarma, but my favorites remain chicken and meat.
Shawarma sandwiches or wraps consist of thinly sliced cuts of meat or chicken rolled into pita bread. Inside the pita, there is the sauce spread (which one depends whether your sandwich is chicken or red meat) some pickles, tomatoes, and maybe some onions.
Walking downtown in any Middle Eastern city, you will find Shawarma places in almost every street. If you happen to visit a Middle Eastern country you must try a shawarma sandwich! To prepare the shawarma, meat (or chicken) is stacked on a large stick that is facing a standing grill. As the stick rotates, the meat is roasted slowly on all sides. Traditionally, the standing grill used to be wood fire, nowadays the gas flame is the standard. A popular shawarma place will serve more than a thousand sandwich's a night from just one skewer! The picture of the Chicken Shawerma skewer below was taken around nine o’clock at night. When the grilling started that day, the skewer was more than double this size!!!
Home-made shawarma is not 100% like the restaurant one as it is difficult to replicate it without having the skewer with the standing grill. This recipe is the closest I have come to preparing chicken shawarma. We enjoy it a lot, hope you do as well. Serve it with the garlic sauce from dish-away.
The serving is enough for 8-10 people depending on their appetite.
Chicken Shawarma Recipe:
Preparation time: 10 min Cook time: 25 min
1 kilo shredded chicken (750grams chicken breast and 250 grams chicken thighs)
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sumac
¼ teaspoon Arabic Gum (Meska), crushed
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup yogurt
¼ cup natural vinegar (white, apple or grape)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 bay leaves
rind of one lemon
How to make Chicken Shawarma:
- Wash the chicken well and place in a colander to drain.
- Place the chicken stripes on a cutting board and gently pound until you get thin stripes of chicken meat.
- Place the chicken slices in a large dish and add all of the other ingredients.
- Mix well, and tightly close the container. Marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. You can marinate it for less time but not less than 12 hours.
- Remove the bay leaves from the mixture and drain any excess marinate liquid.
- Sauté the chicken in a non-stick pan. you will notice that it will release juices, keep tossing until the juices evaporate and the chicken is well cooked.
Note: If your chicken releases a lot of juices and you notice that the chicken is cooked but not all the juices have evaporated and you don’t want to wait, just drain the excess juices in the sink and toss the chicken in the pan for a minute before serving.
Serve Chicken Shawarma hot with garlic sauce, pickled cucumbers, and pita bread.
To assemble Chicken Shawerma sandwiches:
- Open the pita bread and spread a layer of garlic sauce.
- Sprinkle a layer of the chicken shawerma on top.
- Toss a few pickles in the sandwich… your sandwich is ready
You can serve French fries on the side, and don’t forget to have your garlic sauce nearby for those who enjoy to dip their sandwich in it.
Hope you enjoyed today’s easy recipe: Chicken Shawarma; an authentic Middle Eastern dish. Bon appetite.
What is your favorite shawarma sandwich: chicken, meat or one of the newer variations?
اضغط الرابط لقراءة وصفة شاورما الدجاج بالعربي باللغة العربية