Having a best friend who's mom owns an amazing Lebanese restaurant (if you're ever in Youngstown, OH you need to beat a path to Samia's Phoenician Grill and prepare for food bliss), tends to make one slightly obsessed with Middle Eastern food, and also rather picky. I'm pretty sure my body is about 75% hummus. So being out here in the DC area and missing Samia's amazing chicken shawarma wraps, a gal has to improvise and try to recreate the magic at home. It took some trial and error, but finally I stumbled upon a great base recipe from The Shiksa In The Kitchen and soon the Mister and I were on Cloud 9...if Cloud 9 is a delicious shawarma cloud. While pickles and grilled or sauteed onions are a traditional must, we also love to add some slices of fresh tomato. So slice up and seed one of the tomatoes you get and slap those babies on some homemade chicken shawarma. All the fun of take-away without ever having to leave your home!
Chicken Shawarma at Home
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Salt & black pepper
1 sweet onion, halved and sliced thin
1 tomato, sliced and seeded
Dill pickle spears (to make your own, see our Nalls' Kitchen recipe here)
Pita for wraps (If anyone knows of gluten-free pita, please tell me!! We had to use GF tortillas, whomp whomp.)
For garlic sauce:
1 head garlic, roasted
1 cup sour cream (We use our dairy-free Tofutti sour cream, but plain Greek yogurt would also work great!)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Slice chicken into strips and place in a marinating dish or large plastic, well-sealing bag. In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil and all the spices for the chicken marinade. Pour over chicken and toss to completely coat each piece. Cover the dish/seal the bag and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or even better, overnight.
Preheat oven to 400. Slice off the top of a head of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves. Place on a baking sheet or into a muffin pan, and generously drizzle olive oil over the top. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until cloves are soft and golden. Set aside to cool.
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet (or on a stovetop grill pan) over medium high heat. Add in marinated chicken and saute until chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and dice into small shawarma-like pieces and pop back into the pan for another minute just to flash sear and flavor the newly exposed parts. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil.
In the same pan (add an additional Tbsp of olive oil if needed) add in sliced onion and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the onions to continue to soak up some of the residual seasoning from the chicken.
For the garlic sauce, remove roasted cloves by squeezing into a bowl and mash with 1 cup of sour cream, taking care not to get any garlic skins into the bowl. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon and stir to incorporate.
Grab whatever carb-o-licious vehicle you're going to place all this goodness on, add a portion of chicken, some onions, a few slices of tomato, a pickle spear or two and top it all off with a dollop of garlic sauce. Get generous with that garlic sauce, because it's not enough until you're sweating it out. Make sure your loved ones do the same so everyone's garlic aroma will cancel each other out. ;)
Recipe adapted from The Shiksa In The Kitchen: (http://theshiksa.com/2012/08/15/chicken-shawarma/)