Chicken Shwarma with Tahini Sauce on Toasted Pita bread

This VERY EASY, delicious chicken shwarma recipe combines the tastes and flavors of the eastern Mediterranean.

If you have ever visited the countries of the eastern Mediterranean, you can't have missed tasting this delicious staple. Originating in Turkey, it initially spread to Greece, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt all of whom developed their own versions and variations. Nowadays you can find shwarma is sold in many major cities around the world, brought there by immigrants and adopted by many of the locals.

Usually sold as a street food, this great recipe really takes this dish to a new level. It was given to me by a friend, a well known Israeli chef who specializes in gourmet ethnic food.

Finding the ingredients for this recipe may sometimes seem a bit of a hassle/ If you have a taste for the flavors and colors of the Mediterranean, you will find the end definitely justifies the means. If you can't find the ingredients in your local stores, try kalamala.com for a great selection of Middle Eastern food products

Traditionally made with lamb or mutton, this chicken shwarma recipe substitutes chicken breasts and thighs and makes a delicious and healthy chicken shwarma with all the flavors of the Orient.

Ready to prepare Chicken Shwarma with tahini sauce on toasted pita bread?


Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

Shwarma

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, skinned.
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, skinned and deboned
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin

For tahini sauce

  • 3/4 cup tahini paste
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper or to taste
  • For garnish
  • 1 cup freshly chopped parsley

1 cup spring onion, chopped

Pita bread

  • 3 pita breads, halved lengthwise (you want slices, not pockets)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

PREPARATION:

Shwarma

  1. Mix cumin, salt and pepper in bowl
  2. Halve the chicken breasts down the middle, so you have 2 pieces from each breast
  3. Apply olive oil to both sides of the chicken, and then sprinkle with spice mixture
  4. Grill approximately 3 minutes per side, until done
  5. When done, remove from grill. Take a piece of white and a piece of brown, place one on top of the other and slice crosswise as thinly as you can

Tahini sauce

  1. Mix the paste with an equal amount of water and stir vigorously until you get a smooth mixture. If it is too thick, add a little water and continue stirring. Keep on doing this until you get a nice, thick creamy sauce. If you added too much water initially, just add a little more paste. Do it slowly and carefully, mixing all the time, or you will wind up with too much sauce.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir into the mix.
  3. Correct seasoning to taste
  4. Be very careful not to finish it all in a 'taste correcting' session

Pita bread

  1. Coat each inside face with a little olive oil
  2. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper
  3. Place briefly on grill, face down. Be careful not to burn it - you want a nice, crispy, slightly charred piece of bread - not burnt. On a hot grill, 30 seconds or so will usually be all you need

Garnish

  1. Slice the parsley and spring onion
  2. Mix in bowl

Method

  • Spread about 2 tablespoons of tahini sauce on the toasted side of each pita slice
  • Pile 2-3 tablespoons of the combined meat mixture onto the slice
  • Add garnish liberally

Enjoy!

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