Chicken Shawarma with Garlic Yoghurt Sauce
I have travelled quite a bit in exotic lands like Turkey, Egypt and Greece in my youth. Needless to say it was on a shoestring budget and the best and cheapest food I could find at that time was shawarma/gyros/doner kebab and I've eaten quite alot of them if I may say so. At 1 to 2 USD a portion in those days. Though I would usually need 2 each time, I've always had a good appetite.
Then I lived a few years in Paris. Still on a shoestring budget. Though at 35 French Francs (about 5 euros) a portion it was quite expensive, but those gyros also tend to be quite big (fries included) so I would treat myself to one from time to time. On my 22nd Birthday, 2 young men fought in front of the best gyros shop at Place St Michel over the right to buy me a gyros as a birthday treat. I know, I was pathetic. They should have combined forces to bring me to the Jules Verne. Hub did, a few years down the road, so I married him. See, I redeemed myself.
I was at Armani today and bumped into MM. She has just spent a few thousand euros in order to earn a few thousand more. I only know how to spend, unfortunately, and only in the hundreds. But the Teenager is happy with his new jeans, shoes and T-shirt and Baby Girl with her capri pants (size 14 years!!!). I will return to the store next month if I still have some housekeeping money left over from this month. I may like a few pairs of jeans myself.
At Lidl the other day I bought a packet of Lebanese bread. Thought that I'd make Chicken Shawarma to go with them. And also a Garlic Yoghurt Sauce. Though I'm one of those people who only eat my gyros - plain. Yes, only bread and meat. So once again I had to depend on the family to taste out my sauce. The Shawarma can also be accompanied by a Hoummous or a Harissa Sauce. I had a ripe avocado so I made a Guacamole.
Cooked Chicken Breasts
Chicken Shawarma :
800g Whole Chicken Breasts (with side slits in each breast)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 Tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp ground Cloves
4 Cardamom pods (bashed)
1/4 Tsp ground Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp ground Cumin
1 Tsp ground Chilli
1/2 Tsp ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 Tbsp White wine vinegar
Garlic Yoghurt Sauce :
250g Greek Yoghurt
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
Salt to taste
I keep the chicken breasts whole because they tend to dry out quickly if they are too thin. But I have side slits in each breast so that they will absorb the marinade better. Marinate with all the ingredients for at least 3 hours. I use herbes de Provence instead of just origano because my favourite gyros in Paris always tasted of that. I loved it.
Marinated Chicken Breasts
Prepare the garlic yoghurt sauce and keep it chilled in the fridge until you need it.
Garlic Yoghurt Sauce
Naturally I do not have a vertical rotating spit which I probably would have had if I had married one of my Turkish suitors. But that would be another story for another day (if ever).
I use a hot oven to grill my chicken. First on normal at 220°C for 30 minutes and then the last 10-15 minutes under the grill. Line the baking dish with Lebanese bread so that they will absorb the oil and liquid during the cooking. Place the marinated chicken on top of the bread and add a few onions or chillis to be roasted if you wish. Turn the meat over half-way through.
To assemble, fill each half of the Lebanese bread with a salad leaf, followed by cucumber, tomatoes, onions, peppers etc. Then slice or shred the meat and add to the filling. Top with the sauce(s). I ate mine with BBQ sauce.