Chicken Shawarma

Shawarma, Kebab, Kebob, souvlaki, gyro, shish, yakitori, donor. The method of cooking meat over fire is prehistoric and every country have their own name for the mighty kebab. In the UK kebabs go hand in hand with being drunk AF on a Saturday night, eating a chili and garlic smothered monstrosity only to wake up next to it the morning after. But the kebab is so much more. In the middle east, Greece and Turkey variations of kebabs are an everyday meal for lunch and dinner. Could you imagine bringing a takeaway kebab into the office for lunch in the UK, your colleagues would genuinely start to wonder if you were alright. So for whatever reason kebabs here get a bad rep. Mostly considered insanely bad for your health and only ingested when your taste buds have been drowned in your booze of choice, but this doesn't have to be the case! My chicken shawarma is fresh, spicy, wholesome and super easy to make. I love making this type of unpretentious food for friends as you can throw it in the middle of the table and everyone can make their own. The combination of the spicy chicken, crunchy lettuce, salty tomatoes and cooling sauce provides an excellent range of flavors in every bite.

SWANKINGREDIENTS

Serves six

For the Chicken

  • Chicken Thighs (Boned and Skinned) 18
  • Lemons 3
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4 Tablespoons
  • Garlic Cloves 5
  • Demerara Sugar 1 Teaspoon
  • Fennel seed 1 tea Spoon
  • Tandoori Masala 3 Tablespoons
  • Ground Cumin 2 Tablespoons
  • Garam Masala 3 Tablespoons
  • Smoked Paprika 2 Tablespoon
  • Hot Chili Powder 2 Tablespoons
  • Sea Salt 1 Tablespoon
  • Cracked black pepper 1 Tablespoon

For the Salad

  • Red onion 4
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Jalapeno 1
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 5 Table Spoons
  • Sea Salt 1.5 Table Spoons
  • Ice Burg Lettuce
  • For the Garlic Sauce
  • Mayonnaise 7 Table Spoons
  • Garlic 3 cloves
  • Lemon 1
  • Sea Salt 1 Table Spoon
  • Cracked Black Pepper 1 Tea Spoon

Serve with flatbread

 

METHOD

Place the chicken in a large dish along with the spices, garlic, lemon and crushed garlic. Mix well and place in the fridge to marinade overnight if possible.

For the tomato and onion salad cut the tomatoes into quarters and chop the onions (I love the offensive strength of red onion so I chopped them quite thick as the vinegar will naturally reduce their pungency). Pour in the apple cider vinegar and add the salt and pepper. I used quite a lot of salt but I really think it is necessary to bring out the flavor of the cherry tomatoes. For the garlic mayo sauce simply put everything in a bowl and mix well.

Traditional Sharwarma is cooked on a rotisserie but much to my dismay I don't own one so I have tried to replicate as best as possible by using a grilling basket. The basket will allow for easy and quick turning in at attempt to replicate a rotisserie. You will also skewers to hold the chicken together.

Grilling meat over charcoal will always produce a better flavor than gas but unfortunately it was unfeasible so the Broil King was fired up. You want the grill set medium to high heat, around 250, if set any higher the chicken will burn on the outside before the inside is cooked.

Cook for around 10 minutes turning the basket every two. After 10 mins they should have fantastic coloring so move to the top shelf of the grill, close the lid and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the internal temp of the chicken reaches  75°c.

To serve warm flat breads on the grill for 30 seconds a side. Cut the chicken and let everyone dive in!

Hope you enjoy,

Paul.

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