Happy Memorial Day!! Hope y'all are enjoying the long weekend with loved ones. It’s been raining with severe thunderstorms these past couple of days here in Austin so I imagine most of us will be taking the grilling inside.
Whether you're basking in the sun or staying indoors, I’ve got THE perfect make ahead meal for you! I’m sure you already have your menu planned out for today, but if not, you still have time to make this flavorful and juicy chicken shawarma!
If anyone were to ask me what my favorite cuisine is, I’d immediately spit out “Mediterranean!” Yes, I do unattractive things when I get excited. But to tell you the truth, I’m all mixed up when it comes to differentiating the foods that I’ve come to love so much as Mediterranean vs. Middle Eastern.
So, to clarify, I love tabouleh, baba ghanoush, hummus, kebabs, gyros, doners, shawarmas, etc. And what is the difference between gyros, doners, and shawarmas? I apologize for my ignorance. Despite all this confusion, what I know for certain is that my palate LOVES these two cuisines. It doesn’t help that I have an obsession with pita bread and would gladly dip or wrap anything and everything in it.
The inspiration for today’s recipe comes from our recent trip to San Diego. Vacations are necessary not only for relaxation (some more so than others) and recharging, but they're also a great way to gain some kitchen inspiration. I seriously had the BEST falafel and doners at The Kebab Shop in San Diego (even named my panda stuffed animal from the zoo, “Falafel”), and my determination to recreate the fare followed me back home. And my dear husband, if you are reading this, I’m still waiting for my vertical meat spit.. #inmydreams.
After several attempts at getting the combination and ratio of spices just right, I finally landed on one that I’m pleased with. I suggest you slice the chicken breasts before marinating so that each piece gets nicely coated. Not to mention, it will reduce cooking time. If you want to cook 1/2 of the chicken and freeze the rest, feel free to do so. Simply freeze the uncooked chicken with its marinade.
Speaking of bread, if you have any tried and true gluten-free pita/flatbread recipes OR a brand that you absolutely love, please leave me a comment below! I’d love to share with my clients!
This Grilled Chicken Shawarma is a juicy, flavorful summer dinner! Tweet this
Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Sauce
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Tahini sauce:
- 1/2 cup tahini sesame seed paste
- 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more if necessary
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (or more for desired consistency)
To make the chicken:
- Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Add the chicken and use your hands to coat each piece. Let marinate at least 4 hours (overnight preferred).
- Heat the grill (I used a grill pan) over medium-high heat and cook for 6-8 minutes (depending on the size of your pieces) or until cooked through.
To make the sauce:
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the water a little at a time to form a smooth, creamy sauce. More water may be needed depending on the thickness of your tahini paste. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice as necessary.
- Plate the chicken, drizzle tahini sauce on top and serve alongside rice, salad, pita bread, etc.