Chicken Shawarma

I haven’t been able to get enough Indian or Middle Eastern food lately. I’ve been craving the stuff. Everything from potato aloo, to saag paneer, to all kinds of curries and different sauces and spices. I think that is one of the things I love about that cuisine, and it is getting to the point where it is competing with other cuisines I love so much such as Thai and Mexican. As you recall, I recently made a batch of shawarma spice seasoning, only to be used, for the most part, this recipe. Chicken shawarma is something you need to make, and traditionally done over a spit, I decided to bake mine as the weather on this particular day was not in my favor.

Shawarma can be many different types of meat, but it essentially relates to a sandwich. Think of your favorite gyro place where they are slicing meats from a spit, and placing it inside of warm pita or flatbread, along with sauces and vegetables. That’s shawarma, and this is my take on it. Did I mention my entire family was totally in love with this?

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
  • 3 tbsp shawarma spice seasoning
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hummus
  • 1/4 cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • sliced cucumbers, to your liking
  • sliced tomatoes, to your liking
  • 1 whole pita bread, warmed
  • 1/2 cup cooked french fries, per sandwich, optional

OK, let’s get this going. Now you have options here. You can go with adding the seasoned strips to a skewer and adding them onto a grill, or you can bake them, as I did. You decide.

Start by marinading your chicken. To a mixing bowl, add the chicken, and the oil. Toss to coat, then add in the shawarma spice mix. Toss again to make sure all of the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Chicken Shawarma Ingredients

During this time, prepare your tzatziki, hummus, and tahini sauce. They all go pretty quickly, and can be used throughout the week. That’s always a great thing.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Add the chicken to a baking sheet, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, let it cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces.

Keep the oven on, and cook your french fries.

Heat a skillet on high heat, then add in the chicken, to get a nice sear on the pieces, tossing along the way. Once you get a nice sear, remove from the heat, and set aside until you are ready to make your sandwich.

Take your warmed pita and smear on the hummus.

Top with pieces of the chicken, drizzle on the tahini sauce, then top with the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add a couple of dollops of tzatziki sauce, the top with the french fries and drizzle with some more that tahini sauce.

Now you are ready to dig in. Fold that pita, open wide, and take this bad boy on. This chicken shawarma is so good, and the entire flavor combination just makes this an awesome one. The chicken itself is so warm and addicting in the spices, then you get that creamy hummus, and the garlic tahini. Whoa, this one is great, and again my entire family devoured them. A must make if you are looking for great all-around Middle Eastern flavors and a killer sandwich to boot. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Shawarma
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
  • 3 tbsp shawarma spice seasoning
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup of your favorite hummus
  • ¼ cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • sliced cucumbers, to your liking
  • sliced tomatoes, to your liking
  • 1 whole pita bread, warmed
  • ½ cup cooked french fries, per sandwich, optional
Instructions
  1. OK, let’s get this going. Now you have options here. You can go with adding the seasoned strips to a skewer and adding them onto a grill, or you can bake them, as I did. You decide.
  2. Start by marinading your chicken. To a mixing bowl, add the chicken, and the oil. Toss to coat, then add in the shawarma spice mix. Toss again to make sure all of the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  3. During this time, prepare your tzatziki, hummus, and tahini sauce. They all go pretty quickly, and can be used throughout the week. That’s always a great thing.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Add the chicken to a baking sheet, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, let it cool slightly, then chop into bite sized pieces.
  6. Keep the oven on, and cook your french fries.
  7. Heat a skillet on high heat, then add in the chicken, to get a nice sear on the pieces, tossing along the way. Once you get a nice sear, remove from the heat, and set aside until you are ready to make your sandwich.
  8. Take your warmed pita and smear on the hummus.
  9. Top with pieces of the chicken, drizzle on the tahini sauce, then top with the tomatoes and cucumbers. Add a couple of dollops of tzatziki sauce, the top with the french fries and drizzle with some more that tahini sauce.

 

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Shawarma Seasoning Spice Mix

It was not too long ago when I decided to stop by a local fast food place called Golden Gyros because I had a craving for a great gyro, and this place got great reviews. The only other places are in downtown Milwaukee, of which I do not want to drive to just to get a gyro. So when I went into this small place, it was packed with people ordering food. As my default decision was to go for the gyro, others were ordering the chicken shawarma. As I went to order, I was almost drawn in to ordering the chicken, but then the gyro platter spilled out of my mouth. A good decision to say the least, and now they are probably my favorite in town, but I could not get the shawarma off of my mind. That’s when I decided to come up with the spice blend and make it my own.

Shawrma Seasoning Spice Mix Recipe

This stuff is really delicious and adds just the right earthiness to any Middle Eastern meal. I’ve been using this on chicken and beef and everyone loves it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp all spice
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Add the cumin seeds and black peppercorns to a small skillet and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Stir along the way.

Next, add everything to a spice grinder, and grind until you have a fine powder.

Shawrma Spice Mix Ingredients

Sprinkle this on chicken, beef, vegetables, or lamb, heck even fish before cooking on the grill or oven.

If you can imagine all of those spices mixed together, geez the aroma alone is awesome. Store in an air tight container and use throughout any grilled recipes. Hope you enjoy!

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Tzatziki Chicken Salad Sandwich

While shopping this past week, I ended up buying a bunch of fresh dill. I’ve been wanting to incorporate dill into some of my recipes. Dill has this citrus, and maybe slightly sour aspect to it, and personally, I love it. I’ve tried growing it in my garden in the past, and it has never blossomed the way I wanted. I’ll admit that I have somewhat of a green thumb, but have failed when it comes to dill. Regardless, I can now get some fresh dill, and I’m fine with that.

So, I decided to make a batch of tzatziki sauce. If you have never had tzatziki sauce, well, it is a must! I made a batch, only to be used for my Grecian lamb and grilled cheese sandwich (It was amazing). However, I had plenty of leftover tzatziki sauce. It was last Sunday, and after looking in my refrigerator, I also noticed I had some leftover chicken that I had roasted the previous night. That’s when I thought of making a tzatziki chicken salad sandwich!

Tzatziki Chicken Salad Sandwich

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 slices of rustic French loaf, about 1/2 inch thick, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup tzatziki sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 thin slice of provolone cheese, optional

Ingredients for the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated using a microplane
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the tzatziki sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir to combine.

 

Mix all of the chicken salad ingredients, with the exception of the bread, into a small mixing bowl.

Tzatziki Chicken Salad Sandwich

Take one of your toasted pieces of bread, and add the thin slice of provolone cheese. Generously mound some of the chicken salad onto the bread.

Top with the remaining slice, and slice on the diagonal prior to serving.

As you typically think of using mayonnaise in a chicken salad sandwich, the tzatziki sauce gives this an awesome surprise. Personally, I think the sauce with the cucumbers, dill, garlic, and yogurt really make this a better sandwich. You let me know what you think, as I thought this was a real winner.

Hope you enjoy!

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Pho Style Chicken Stock

Do you love Vietnamese pho as much as I do? Sometimes I feel I cannot get enough of it. If you have never tried pho, please go out and try it, or better yet try making your own. The broth is unique in the sense that I know you will fall in love with it. It has notes of cinnamon, star anise, and roasted onions and ginger that it has you slurping up those noodles, beef, and bean sprouts like you were some sort of soup ninja. As pho is typically done with beef, there is also a chicken pho that is just as great. So recently I decided to make a big batch of pho style chicken stock to be used in some of my braises, and a base for ramen throughout the week. This stock is so good that you can simply reheat any day during the week, and drink it from a cup.

Pho Style Chicken Stock

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole onions
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1.5 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 quarts of water, to cover
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sake, optional
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Add the onions and ginger to a baking sheet, and place into the oven until they are nice and charred. You can do this on your grill as well if you desire. Once charred, add them to the stock pot, along with the chicken pieces, salt, fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, sake, and sugar.

How to make chicken pho stock

Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat. You will notice a bunch of chicken scum come to the top during the simmer. No fear. You want to remove all of this. Use a skimmer to remove the scum, and discard. If you do not have a skimmer, use a large spoon. Continue to remove the scum as it appears.

I cooked my stock for about 6 hours, because, hey, why not? Once thoroughly cooked, strain using a chinois, or another type of strainer over a large pot. I use the chinois, and press the mixture until all of the stock is strained. Let the stock cool, the cover and refrigerate.

When you are ready to use, add the stock (it will be thickened from all of that great chicken fat) to your pot to reheat, letting it come to a boil.

This pho style chicken stock is just loaded with awesome flavor, and again is something you can use for a couple of weeks, whether that be with a noodle soup, a braise, or as part of a slow cooker recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Pho Style Chicken Stock
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 quarts
 
Ingredients
  • 2 whole onions
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1.5 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 quarts of water, to cover
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 whole star anise
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sake, optional
  • 2 tbsp sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Add the onions and ginger to a baking sheet, and place into the oven until they are nice and charred. You can do this on your grill as well if you desire. Once charred, add them to the stock pot, along with the chicken pieces, salt, fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, sake, and sugar.
  2. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat. You will notice a bunch of chicken scum come to the top during the simmer. No fear. You want to remove all of this. Use a skimmer to remove the scum, and discard. If you do not have a skimmer, use a large spoon. Continue to remove the scum as it appears.
  3. I cooked my stock for about 6 hours, because, hey, why not? Once thoroughly cooked, strain using a chinois, or another type of strainer over a large pot. I use the chinois, and press the mixture until all of the stock is strained. Let the stock cool, the cover and refrigerate.
  4. When you are ready to use, add the stock (it will be thickened from all of that great chicken fat) to your pot to reheat, letting it come to a boil.

 

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