Monday, September 23, 2013

Spicy Chicken Shawarma

For me, weeknight cooking is all about having a plan. My brain hurts when I get home, so having a plan allows me to mindlessly chop and drink wine. Choppy choppy winey winey. Carey so happy. But back to planning, when you know what you're working with, its easier to think about marinating too. This makes all the difference in for a flavor-packed dinner.

This is really just a chicken pita, but man oh man, with a spiced marinade this is way cooler than pita. This is shit is shawarma. Fancy spiced pitas guys. So good.

Either the night before or the morning of, whip together this quick flavor-packed marinade. In this case, it's the brightness of fresh parsley with a generous helping of middle eastern spices.

Spices combined with yogurt will result in fork-tender chicken. Just combine and refrigerate for a few hours.

The spicy yogurt marinade not only flavors and tenderizes, but provides a nice crust when grilled. 

Slice thinly and stuff into grilled pitas, along with some veggies and a bit of yogurt sauce. You'll entirely forget you have four days left this week. Pat yourself on the back for thinking ahead and pour another glass.

Spicy Chicken Shawarma
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast
4 whole wheat pitas
1 cucumber, sliced
3-4 tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, chopped

Combine parsley, salt, red pepper, ginger, cumin, fennel seed, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini and garlic in a large bowl. Scoop out about a 1/4 cup and reserve in a separate container. Toss chicken in remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours. 

Preheat grill and remove chicken from refrigerator, giving it time to take the chill away. Cook chicken over high-direct heat, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove from grill and allow to rest before slicing. Grill pitas for a minute or two on each side.  

Halve pitas and stuff with sliced chicken, cucumber, tomatoes and red onion. Top with a dollop of the reserved yogurt sauce. Garnish with a bit of parsley and enjoy!

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