My neighborhood is known for two things: 1. the home of notorious, soon to be ex-governor Rod Blagojevich and 2. being one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the nation (according to Barrons magazine). Since I don’t care much about number one, let’s focus on number two. Thanks to our diversity, we’ve got tons of great ethnic restaurants. One of which has the best Chicken Shawarma ever. Since I don’t get to go there often (since my husband doesn’t share the love), I thought I’d give it a whirl at home. I scoured the web for recipes. Lebanese? Persian? Greek? I had no idea what I was looking for, but I did know that most of the recipes I came across seemed flatout wrong (curry powder??). Then I came across this one that seemed promising. I made a few tweaks – broiling the chicken instead of boiling it and not marinating it nearly as long as recommended since I didn’t want the meat to turn mushy – and it turned out pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. Next time, I might try with an olive oil marinade instead of the yogurt. I served it on Naan with some Sabre Hummus (tahini garlic sauce would also be a great choice, but hummus was on-hand), tomato and cucumber. Fabulous!
Adapted from About.com
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (thinly cut)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- juice from 1 lemon
Combine all ingredients except for chicken to make marinade. Add chicken, cover and refrigerate at least an hour, preferably more (maybe overnight).
When ready to bake, turn oven broiler to HI (or use your grill). Remove chicken from marinade and let drain in colander to remove excess.
Arrange chicken on a baking sheet. Broil 6-10 minutes or until chicken is done and looks brown and crispy in parts.
Serve with naan, pita, lavash, whatever you’ve got. Hummus or a garlic tahini sauce would make a nice addition. Add some veg – tomatoes, cucumber, a little thinly sliced onion. Perhaps a sprinkle of ground sumac if you’ve got it.