The Local Ladle

Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches

Chicken Shwarma Sandwiches

This recipe was greatly inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, a co-owner of four restaurants and co-author of several successful cookbooks, who has quickly become an idol to me. His inspiration comes from his Mediterranean background and unapologetic obsession with ingredients. When I was in London, I was fortunate enough to be able visit his restaurant Nopi.  It was one of the most breathtaking dining experiences I have ever had!

Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients! Like most Mediterranean dishes, this recipe calls for the addition of several spices. Some of these spices may be unfamiliar to your spice drawer, but I highly recommend testing out these unique flavors. Think outside of fats and sauces, spices and herbs are wonderful ingredients to add a healthy flavor to any meal.

The spices below can improve your health from inflammation to digestion. Personally, having such long term issues with my knees, I will always add about a teaspoon of turmeric to my morning or post workout smoothies to help with any soreness. Spices are a pretty amazing thing and greatly overlooked in the kitchen.

Chicken Shwarma Sandwiches

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Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

8 chicken thighs, boneless

Marinade:

-2½ tbsp lemon juice
-3 small garlic cloves, crushed
-1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
-¼ tsp ground turmeric
-¾ tsp paprika
-1½ tsp ground cumin
-¾ tbsp sumac
-¼ tsp ground cardamom
-¼ olive oil
-1/2 cup chopped cilantro, stems and leaves
-4 large pita bread
-Salt and black pepper

Red onion and cucumber salsa:
-1 red onion, thinly sliced
-½ a large cucumber, thinly sliced
-1 tbsp chopped dill, plus extra to garnish
-4 tsp sumac
-4 tsp white wine vinegar
-2 tsp olive oil

Greek Yogurt & Tahini Sauce:
-2½ tbsp lemon juice
-2 tbsp tahini
-2 tsp parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
-1 small garlic clove, crushed
-¼ cup of Greek Yogurt
-½ tsp ground cumin
-¼ tsp ground cardamom
-A pinch of sugar
-3 tbsp olive oil

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INSTRUCTIONS

First make the marinade. Combine the lemon juice, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Dry-fry the spices on medium heat until their aroma is released and then add these to the bowl, along with 1 teaspoon of salt and ¾ teaspoon of black pepper. Place the chicken into the marinade along with 5 tablespoons of the olive oil and the fresh cilantro. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinade for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight. (Longer the better!)

Place all the ingredients for the salsa in a small bowl, mix well, and set aside.

Then, put all the ingredients for the tahini sauce in a food processor adding a tbsp of water and a pinch of salt. Blitz the sauce until completely smooth. (add more water if too thick.)

Once the chicken has marinaded, heat a ridged griddle pan on high heat. Once hot, place the chicken onto the pan for about 3 minutes on each side or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Allow the chicken to rest for a minutes before cutting into thin strips.

Chicken Shwarma Sandwiches

Wipe off the ridged griddle pan of any residue and place the pita bread onto the griddle. Toast until warmed and slightly golden brown.

imageSpoon about 1 tbsp of the Greek Yogurt & Tahini Sauce onto each warm pita bread. Add the chicken and then top with the Red Onion and Cucumber Salsa. Top with siracha or chili sauce if you prefer a little heat!

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