Chicken Shawarma

The next film in this year’s 12 Days of Oscar is the 2012 film The Avengers.  Marvel Comics superheroes Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, and Thor are recruited by peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury to stop Thor’s brother Loki from controlling earth.  The Avengers become divided over how to handle Loki, and over S.H.I.E.L.D.’s plans to control the Tesseract and use it to develop weapons.  Ultimately (spoiler alert!) the Avengers rally together and save the day. The Avengers was nominated for just one Oscar, Best Visual Effects, but lost to Life of Pi.

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The obvious food pairing for The Avengers is shawarma.  At the end of the film, the victorious but tired Avengers gather around Iron Man.  Iron Man tells the Hulk, Captain America, and Thor “There’s a shawarma joint two blocks from here.  I don’t know what it is, but I want to try it.”  It’s a fun moment of comic relief responsible for boosting sales of shawarma by as much as eighty per cent in some places. After the end credits, the gang is shown gathered around a table, silently enjoying shawarma.

shawarma-avengers

Shawarma is traditionally prepared by putting meat (mostcommonly lamb, beef, or chicken) on a spit and roasted for as long as a day before being shaved off.  Typically, it’s served on a pita with various ingredients (yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomato, tahini, tabbouleh, and hummus are popular toppings).  This recipe really is shawarma-style chicken because I don’t have a vertical spit for roasting meat, but it really is as fantastic as the traditional version.

shawarma 1

Shawarma-Style Chicken

Ingredients:

for the chicken and marinade:

  • 1- 1 1/4 lb chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 C. plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

for the yogurt sauce:

  • 7 oz. plain Greek yogurt (regular yogurt is fine but will result in a thinner sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

to assemble sandwiches:

  • 4 naan, flatbreads, or pitas (I used these flatbreads and they were perfect)
  • 1 C. lettuce (I used butter lettuce, you choose your favorite)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes (or 1 C. grape tomatoes, halved)

Directions:

Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon, oregano, salt, nutmeg, and clove in a small bowl.

Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat well.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.

To make the sauce, combine the Greek yogurt, garlic, dill, and salt.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

When you’re ready to serve the chicken, grill it until cooked through using a counter-top grill (about 7 minutes) or grill pan (medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side).

To build sandwiches spread the yogurt sauce on the flatbread and top with chicken and vegetables.  Roll the sandwich closed, wrapping it in foil if desired to help it stay closed.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Budget Bytes

 

 

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