My wife and I recently hosted a dinner party (that sounds way to fancy), we were having some friends over for dinner. These friends are great cooks themselves and so into cooking as well. We do theme dinners a few times a year. The host picks the theme. When it is my turn, I pick a theme that will challenge all of us to do some RESEARCH on recipe ideas for our meal. The theme for this dinner was Middle Eastern food. My main dish was a Chicken Shawarma Recipe which I have made before. My dessert, a Knafeh, you will find out about in a future post.
My friends made such amazing dishes. I guess I would have pictures if we had not dug in so fast. The appetizers were Lebanese Moussaka – an eggplant dish – and a stew of Okra stew known as Bemieh. All of the dishes had some great flavor. Each recipe had great flavor and texture. My friends hit their dishes out of the park.
Returning to the Chicken Shawarma Recipe, I should also point out that the idea for the compilation of the overall dish comes from eating at a Middle Eastern quick serve restaurant called Naf Naf Grill. I LOVE this place. The problem, I can never leave there feeling comfortable. It is so good, and the portions so large, that I always overeat. I love the flavors of their food. I also love that there are so many textures. So my Chicken Shawarma was served on yellow rice and topped with a Lebanese slaw, lettuce, Middle Eastern pickles and finally, a garlic sauce. My mouth is watering thinking back to the dish while writing this post.
- 5 large skinless chicken breasts
- 6 skinless chicken thighs
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp allspice
- 3/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne
- Salt and black pepper
- Nonstick cooking oil spray
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 cups Rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon each turmeric, paprika & garlic
- 1 head of red cabbage, rough chop
- 6 radishes cut into matchsticks
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Middle Eastern sliced pickles.
- Slice the chicken into small 1″ pieces.
- In a big mixing bowl, add all the spices, mix well.
- Next, and the olive oil and mix into the spices, mix well.
- Add the chicken and rub the marinade fully. Place in the fridge overnight.
- Line baking trays (I needed 3 trays) with tin foil. Place the chicken on the foil giving each piece room on the tray.
- Place in a 325 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes.
- Add more turmeric and cumin (I just winged this one - 1 - 2 tablespoons of each)
- Heat your cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add the canola oil and cook for a few minutes until it shimmers.
- Add the chicken in batches. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side until you get a nice char.
- Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add the rice spices to oil and left over flavors from the chicken. Mix well.
- Add the rice to the skillet – it is cooked just as you would cook risotto.
- Start adding 1 cup of water at a time. Once the rice has absorbed the water, add another cup. Cook until the rice is al dente.
- Put all the vegetables in a bowl.
- For the dressing, simply take the oil, lemon juice and mayonnaise and combine. Dress the slaw before serving.
- To assemble the dish, fill the bowl with the yellow rice.
- Next, add a good handful of slaw and a few pickles.
- Add the chicken and finish by topping with the garlic sauce.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Search blog for garlic sauce to get the recipe.
The chicken is baked, more spices added, and finished off in the skillet to get the right texture.
The slaw ingredients and the cabbage.
The Chicken Shawarma Recipe plated.