Shawarma is a classic Israeli fast food. Piles of meat are layered on a spit with fat and spices and cooked surrounded by heat. When you order a portion of shawarma, the chef will shave off the exterior layer of meat, which is dripping with spices and flavor. The heat creates a crunchy, juicy bite of meat. As the roasted dark meat is shaved, a layer of pale chicken, not yet exposed to heat is revealed. After rotating one or two times around the heat source, the once pale chicken becomes golden and roasted perfectly, ready for the next individual purchasing a quick bite.
Shawarma can be made using turkey, lamb, beef or chicken. To recreate the texture and taste of authentic shawarma it is best to use the meat of chicken legs as this meat is fattier and has more flavor than chicken breast. You can use chicken breast, but know that it will not taste as authentic.
The recipe below is a homemade twist on the traditional dish. Double or triple the spice rub recipe for multiple uses. You can also use the spice rub for chicken or turkey kebobs as well.
SERVINGS: 4 people
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken legs
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Slice chicken into thin strips. Combine the oil and spices and mix into chicken. You can marinate the chicken overnight in the fridge to intensify the flavor. Heat a frying pan on medium/high heat and place spiced chicken strips in pan. Cook in pan for about sixteen minutes – about eight minutes per side. Make sure chicken gets a nice crunchy exterior. Remove from pan and leave as is or chop chicken into even smaller pieces. Serve with chopped fresh vegetables, hummus and hot peppers in a pita or laffa.
Originally posted on Joy of Kosher.