Foods are often named after a special ingredient or process. Such is the case with Chicken Shawarma, which was first created in Turkey during the 18th or 19th century. But for full disclosure: This is not technically the real shawarma. I know, I know.. the real shawarma is slow-roasted on a cone but I swear this is really good & flavorful.
The Turkish called the dish ‘doner kebab’, which described the process of rotating grilled meat. The popularity of the tasty dish resulted in its introduction to Greece.
It became known by the Greek word for turn, ‘gyros’. The Arabic word for turning, ‘shawarma’, became its description as it made its way throughout the Middle East.
Regardless of which name it’s called, this delicious method of preparing chicken or other types of meat results in a delightful dish your family will ask for frequently.
It’s all about the marinade! The fragrant aroma that wafts through the house and neighborhood while the shawarma is cooking results from a variety of ingredients.
The minute I tasted the cooked chicken, I started thinking of the big difference the meat would make to many of my favorite recipes.
A tasty topping of thinly sliced chicken strips on top of a green or macaroni salad or a quick protein pick-me-up snack during the day quickly became another reason for making shawarma several times a month – or more!
This shawarma recipe is easy to prepare. Invite the kids to help by measuring out and adding a few of the special spices. It’s an opportunity for them to smell the different fragrances of cardamom, coriander, and cumin.
The three ground spices look similar in color and texture. What a great learning experience as they discover how the sense of smell helps identify different ingredients.
Chicken is inexpensive when compared to other meats. I like to buy the better pieces, remove the skin, and slice the meat so the marinade is easier to absorb.
Like any recipe, remove or exchange ingredients that cause food allergies in the people eating the dish. Sometimes I use lime juice instead of lemon to ease the tartness of the marinade.
My family prefers the less fatty pieces of chicken this recipe delivers. A sandwich, topping, or wrap provides savory Mediterranean goodness to be enjoyed for special occasions and daily meals.