Shawarma – that’s a new word in my household. But boy – I was missing out! Shawarma is like the Middle Eastern gyro or tacos. And we love gyros and tacos don’t we? Yes, we do! It’s often thinly cut meat packed with Middle Eastern flavors such as cardamom, allspice, lemon, garlic, yoghurt, wrapped inside a pita and served with dishes such as hummus, tahini, tabbouleh or fries.
The day ‘suddenly’ got much lighter here, and the sun don’t go down until like 6.30 pm. That feels like an eternity when I’m used to it being dark basically all day during winter. And it’s light out when I wake up! I meaaan – Summer is getting close, I can smell it.
And with Summer, there are lighter meals, more yoghurt and more lemon! Or at least, for me. I’m more of a comfort food eater during winter, and a salad doesn’t always appeal to me. However, after all that heavy food I’m looking forward to a new kind of comfort food – Summer, veggies and BBQ! Ohh and lemonade and berries. Yesss, I guess I’m looking forward to it.
Seems like food and weather is what’s guiding my mood. Are you like that? All kinds of weather and food can get me in a good mood though. But winter, snow and pumpkin spice make me cozy, wanting to wrap up in blankets and hibernate. Summer is all about being outdoors, active and social around the garden table.
Ok, that sounded like we were jogging around the garden table, my bad. I mean, I’ve got restless legs, but not that restless… I am babbling – I guess you want to eat sometime this century right, so let’s get to this delicious super yummy Chicken Shawarma! I’m also throwing in a homemade shawarma spice blend so you can just whip this baby up in no time the next time (because there will be a next time, I promise).
Chicken Shawarma + Homemade Shawarma Spice
Let’s begin with the marinade. It’s just mix and forget really. But we need to make the shawarma blend first (You should also begin cooking quinoa for the tabbouleh, see below). Recipe is based on Jo Cooks’.
Shawarma Spice Blend
I halved the recipe from Little Spice Jar. Mix all the spices together and store in an airtight container. I know, so easy. You can marinade meat even easier than in my recipe here, but I haven’t tried this version; 2 tbsp of olive oil + 1 tbsp white vinegar and half a teaspoon of salt with 1 tbsp of shawarma to marinade 500 gr of meat. Marinade chicken for 20 minutes and beef for 1-24 hours (source). It sounds amazing, but I have not tried it! I’m all about the lemon and garlic in the next step.
Chicken Shawarma Marinade
Add all the spices, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil to a bowl. Whisk well and toss in the chicken. Make sure the chicken is completely coated in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for around 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C (425F). Add sliced onion to the bowl with the chicken and toss around. Add everything to a 20x30cm (9×13) baking dish. If you still have a lot of marinade floating around, leave it behind. But the longer the meat is marinading, the more it will absorb.
Bake until chicken is done, around 35-40 minutes, depending on the size of chicken. Once done, let them rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile everything is marinading, baking and so on – you’ll make the sides. The garlic sauce is made in around 30 seconds – just whisk everything together, taste and season more if you want. The tabbouleh salad is also very easy, but you need to cook and cool the quinoa, while you chop and measure the rest of the ingredients. See this link for an amazing tabbouleh recipe. Heat some pita wraps, spread with hummus, garlic sauce, tabbouleh and top with chicken shawarma.
Enjoy this summer on a plate!
Other Summery or Middle Eastern dishes:
- Baharat Spice Blend
- Middle Eastern Pizza
- Lemon Tea Cake with a Cream Cheese Surprise
- Moroccan Harissa Grilled Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Sauce
- Mexican Tacos al Pastor
- Caribbean Mango Chipotle Quinoa Bowl
- Cuban Quinoa Bowl with Fried Bananas and Mango Salsa
What’s your favorite summer or bbq recipe?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, either in the comment section below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!
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