Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma
Chicken Shawarma

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish made with very thin cuts of meat, seasoned and threaded on skewers and grilled. The grilled meat is then served on a warm pita with tomatoes, lettuce or cucumbers and a creamy yogurt sauce. I think of it like a Middle Eastern taco. Traditionally beef, chicken, goat, lamb, or turkey is used in this dish. I used chicken breasts for this particular recipe.

This was a very easy meal to prepare. I seasoned the meat with Shawarma Seasoning and let it marinate in the fridge, on the skewers, during the day and prepared it on my backyard grill (in the winter months I've also done this on the George Foreman grill) for dinner. The yogurt sauce was a mixture of yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and some dried dill weed. I find tahini on the isle with the Asian foods at my market, if you cannot find it - just leave it out - it's nice to have, but won't ruin anything if it is missing.

Helpful Hint: To slice the meat really thin, partially freeze chicken breasts until they are firm, but not frozen solid. Use a sharp knife and cut very carefully. The partially frozen meat will make it easier to hold and slice.

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Ingredients:
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Shawarma Seasoning
  • 4 whole wheat pitas - 6" round, does not need to have a pocket
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat or fat free Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon California Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dill Weed
  • Cooking Spray
  • Tomato slices and cucumber slices or chopped romaine lettuce
Instructions:
  1. In a medium glass bowl, combine chicken strips, lemon juice, Shawarma Seasoning and olive oil. Make sure all pieces of chicken are coated with the seasoning.
  2. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least an hour, but all day or overnight works too.
  3. Thread chicken strips onto wooden skewers. Hint: If you are going to use a gas or charcoal grill, soak the wooden skewers in water for 1/2 hour before using them to prevent them from burning.
  4. Prepare sauce by combining yogurt, tahini, granulated garlic and dill weed and stir to combine.
  5. Lightly coat grill pan with cooking spray and place chicken skewers onto hot grill.
  6. Grill for 1 - 2 minutes on each side until meat is cooked through and toasted on the outside.
  7. Warm the pitas on the grill, microwave or oven. Don't toast them - just warm them so they can be folded.
  8. Arrange chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers or lettuce and yogurt on the warm pita, fold (like a taco) and serve.
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