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Three Years Ago:  Sage Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Shawarma is a Middle-eastern meat preparation where the meat is roasted on over a fire or on a grill.  It is also the name used for the sandwich or wrap that is made with this meat.  You can find versions of this dish now throughout Europe, Asia and parts of the U.S.  However, I can’t find it anywhere near me, so I decided to make it myself.  This simple version uses chicken thighs and is both simple and delicious.

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INGREDIENTS:

Chicken Shawarma:

1½ tsp. ground cumin

1½ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. ground allspice

¼ tsp. chili powder

1 clove garlic, grated

1½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch strips

3½ Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Tomato Cucumber Relish:

2 Tbs. quality olive oil

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 English cucumber, chopped

1 clove garlic, grated

1 lemon, juiced

½ small red onion, minced

Handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tahini Sauce:

¼ cup tahini paste

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

Kosher salt

Four 6-inch store-bought white pita pockets

Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

For the shawarma: Mix the cumin, paprika, allspice, chili powder and garlic together. Place the chicken inside a resealable plastic bag with the olive oil. Add the spice mixture and rub in until fully incorporated. Seal that bag and place it into the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Chicken Shawarma 01a

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

After marinating, use the skewers to pierce the pieces of chicken through the center. Slide the pieces down leaving enough room for you to hold the skewer, about 3 pieces of chicken per skewer. Continue this process until chicken is all skewered. Sprinkle with salt and place on a hot oiled grill top for 4 minutes per side, or 8 minutes total.  (I was out of skewers, so I just cooked the chicken on a grill pan in two batches.)

Chicken Shawarma 05a

For the relish: Mix the oil, vinegar, oregano, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, onion, parsley and some salt and pepper.

Chicken Shawarma 02

For the tahini sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water. Season with salt.

Chicken Shawarma 03

(I put the sauce in a squeezy bottle for easy sandwich assembly.)

Chicken Shawarma 04

To serve, fill the pitas with the grilled chicken and serve with the cucumber relish and tahini sauce.

Chicken Shawarma 00

Full disclosure, the filling tore through those pitas like rice paper.  You either need a better quality pita bread than I did or wrap the pita around the filling.

Thanks for reading!  God bless and have a great week!

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