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Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

A well-liked Mediterranean-Style chicken sandwich

by HomeNaturallyMade
chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce is a well-liked Mediterranean-style sandwich. So refreshing, naturally yummy, and easy to make. I became a big fan since I tried it at Pita Inn and was determined to figure out a homemade easy, tasty and healthy Chicken Shawarma recipe since. So glad I’ve got it and excited to share it with you here.

This delicious Chicken Shawarma features homemade from-scratch pita bread and homemade Greek Yogurt sauce. It is especially suitable for summer days, picnics, and/or packed lunch for school or work.

chicken Shawarma sandwich with Yogurt Sauce

How to marinate and prepare chicken for Chicken Shawarma?

Juicy and delicious chicken is not only the highlight but the core of this dish. It is essential to marinate the chicken properly in advance.

Sake is one of my secret marinating ingredients, it tenderizes and refreshes chicken wonderfully. Regarding spices, an equal amount of cumin, paprika, black pepper, coriander, and salt work magically together to flavor the chicken. I also like a tiny bit of crushed red chili for a hint of spiciness.

A splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice and oil helps binds the spices together and further enhances the taste.

Last but not least, the freshly minced garlic and finely chopped parsley elevate the flavor beautifully.

chicken shawarma ingredients

For spices, I like to get bulk organic wholesome spices. I store them in airtight glass jars and use a spice grinder to grind them into powder.

Grind fennel seeds for Chai Spice Mix

How to tenderize Chicken Breast?

You might be wondering, can I use chicken breast for Chicken Shawarma? Well, boneless and skinless chicken thighs meat, which is much tender and flavorful compared to chicken breast, works best for this recipe.

However, chicken breast can potentially work out too. You just need to do some extra steps to tenderize it first thing first:

  • Firstly, slice the chicken breast horizontally into halves so that they are not overly thick.
  • Secondly, pound the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer.
  • Lastly, toss the chicken breast pieces with a tiny bit of baking soda to further tenderize the meat. For one pound of chicken breast, use 1/4 tsp baking soda.
chicken Shawarma sandwich with Yogurt Sauce
chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce is a well-liked Mediterranean-style sandwich. So refreshing, naturally yummy, and easy to make at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken, chicken thigh (boneless and skinless) is preferred, but chicken breast is OK too
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda, for marinating chicken breast, optional
  • 4 pita bread, see instructions for a homemade easy pita bread recipe
  • half tomato
  • a few slices of red onion rings
  • a few lettuce leaves

For Marinate the Chicken:

  • 1/2 tbsp sake
  • 1/4 lemon freshly squeezed juice
  • 1/2 tbsp cooking oil, such as canola, avocado oil, etc.
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt, such as Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red chili pepper
  • 3-5 stems of tender parsley, chopped

For Greek Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup of plain Greek Yogurt, organic preferred
  • 5 oz cucumber
  • 1/4 lemon freshly squeezed juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt, such as Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin organic preferred
  • a few dills stems with tender leaves, chopped

Instructions

Make Pita Bread Before Hand:

  • Homemade Pita Bread using the traditional Chinese way of making pocket bread is easy, yummy, and ensures a perfect pocket every time. See here for a detailed guided recipe.
    Homemade Pita Bread

Marinate the Chicken:

  • Do this extra step if you are using chicken breast to tenderize the meat. First, slice the chicken breast horizontally into halves to get it thinner. Then pound with a meat tenderizer. Last, toss the chicken breast pieces with a 1/4 tsp baking soda.
  • Add everything under "For Marinating the Chicken" except for the parsley in a small bowl and mix well. See notes.
    chicken shawarma ingredients
  • Place the chicken in a glass bowl, and rub the marinating sauce into the chicken evenly. Seal the bowl and store in the refrigerator for a few hours if possible for best marinating results.
    Marinating chicken for chicken shawarma

Make Greek Yogurt Sauce:

  • Add everything under "for Greek Yogurt Sauce" in a 2-cup measuring cup and mix well. See here for a detailed guided recipe.
    Greek Yogurt Sauce {Easy and Versatile}

Braise or Grill the Chicken:

  • Once the chicken is marinated, you can either grill or braise. Before you put the marinated chicken on the grill, pat the chopped parsley on the chicken. For braising, we are going to add to the pan.
  • I usually use braising method as a quick and easy way. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat a hard-anodized pan for 1 minute, and then lay the marinated chicken flat on the pan, and cook for 2 minutes.
    sear the chicken in the pan
  • Turn the heat to medium, flip the chicken, sprinkle the chopped parsley on the top, and cook for another 2 minutes.
    top marinated chicken with chopped parsley and sear it on the pan
  • Pour 1 cup of water in a circular motion into the pan, cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 8 minutes, or till the water is almost disappearing.
    Braising chicken in the pan
  • Remove the lid, flip the chicken, drag the chicken to where there is braising juice and fold the juice to the chicken, and cook for another 2 minutes or so, or till the chicken is properly cooked and caramelized.
    Braised Mediterranean Style Chicken in the pan

Assemble Chicken Shawarma Sandwich:

  • Heat up the pita bread on a cast iron griddle, about 1-2 minutes on each side on medium heat.
  • Slice tomato and red onion. Cut the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Slice the chicken into bite-size thin strips.
  • Cut the pita bread horizontally into halves. For each half, fill the pocket with lettuce, tomato, and red onion, and top with sliced chicken.
  • Add the Greek Yogurt Sauce to the taste. All done! Enjoy a naturally yummy and healthy Chicken Shawarma!
    chicken Shawarma sandwich with Yogurt Sauce

Notes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 809Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 1713mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 52g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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