I love Greek food. I love Mediterranean food. I love gyros. I love shawarma. Pretty much, if you can skewer it, roast it with spices, kabob it, what have you, I’ll have it. Many people can attest to the fact that I claim to have 0 knowledge of how to cook this type of food. And truly, I do not. This is most certainly NOT one of those meals I can whip up at any time, anywhere. This meal required some research and planning, but surprisingly, I only needed to buy one oddball item.
Was it as good as the shaved to order, tower of chicken that one can get at a traditional shawarma restaurant? Not quite- but in a pinch, it hit the spot. For a metro area of 400,000 people, I am still shocked that the Quad Cities does not have one real gyros/shawarma place. If you happen to be in a larger metro- check out Naf Naf Grill. Their shawarma will knock your socks off.
This recipe adaptation is an ode to the delicious Naf Naf pita- I did what I could with what I had. I experimented with an ingredient I have never used before, and I have to say, it was pretty successful.
Chicken Shawarma and Mediterranean Salad
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
- Pitas (I had to get creative here since my grocery store did not have pitas. I used the Flatout wraps and that was great too)
- Marinade for chicken:
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from 1 medium lemon
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 (7-ounce) container 2% Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- Parsley flakes
- 1 seedless cucumber, chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- White wine vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Combine the oil and lemon juice in a bowl
- Add the spices and combine well
- Place chicken in a Ziplock bag, pour marinade over the top, and massage into chicken. Let sit in refrigerator at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
- Mix salad ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.
- Mix yogurt ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.
- Grill the chicken and slice thinly
- Serve with salad on the side or inside the pita, and top with yogurt sauce.