Shawerma. I would truly and honestly prefer to get a chicken shawerma sandwich (or two. Or three.) than a bouquet of exotic flowers any day.
There are several variations of this beautiful, wonderful, perfectly delicious chicken sandwich but my favourite is the Syrian version, largely due to the fact that every Syrian that has ever sold me one of these was an utterly lovely person. It doesn’t hurt that it’s served in a huge, super soft crepe like bread called Saj. If you don’t have access to Saj though, never fear! A flour tortilla would make an excellent substitute.
Anyhoo, enough talking, more eating. Shall we?
1 pound chicken breasts
Juice of one lemon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Lebanese Zaatar blend (substitute oregano or thyme)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon pomegranate concentrate (substitute sweet soy sauce or oyster sauce)
1 tablespoon plain yogurt (optional)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
½ teaspoon oil
½ teaspoon pomegranate concentrate (substitute sweet soy sauce)
Pickled cucumbers, chopped (substitute jalapenos)
I like to marinade my chicken breasts in the baking pan I’m going use. You could totally grill these but I prefer to stick them in the oven and forget about them while I watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
Put onions, garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate concentrate (or sweet soy sauce), Zaatar (or thyme), yogurt, oil, and salt and pepper in the baking pan.
Rub chicken with marinade.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius until juices run clear and internal temperature is 74 degrees Celcius.
Chicken is done!
When chicken is done it is a good idea to put it in the fridge to cool down because we are going to slice it real thin and cold chicken is definitely easier to slice.
Toss sliced chicken and chopped tomatoes with a teaspoon of oil and pomegranate concentrate (or soy sauce) plus a little parsley for a minute.
Spread a thin layer of garlic mayonnaise on Saj bread or tortilla.
Carefully roll it up like so.
If you have a sandwich maker, good for you. If you don’t, get a grill and a heavy bottomed pan. Put the sandwich on the grill and press on top of it with the pan.
Do this on both sides.