Sometimes eating chicken breast everyday can be pretty boring , that’s why a good spice mix is highly suggested . I have a drawer in my kitchen full of spices . From blackened spice rub , taco spice mix , to jerk seasoning , ras el hanout , and yesterday i made shawarma spice mix . I was browsing some light and healthy cooking ideas before i ran into this chicken shawarma . Funny enough , i’ve heard and seen the food is offered to many places i’ve been to , middle eastern restaurant . But i just never had them .
I mixed some spices , which is pretty basic anyway , especially if you have a huge selection of spices in your pantry . The shawarma spices i used is a mix of cumin , smoked paprika , paprika ( you can use just paprika instead of smoked , i love the smoked tho ) , turmeric and basic salt and pepper . I marinade the chicken with a mix of lemon juice and tons of garlic , and little bit of olive oil . I would imagine using chicken thighs would be so awesome on this , and think about frying it or maybe grill . But i didn’t want to be bothered to grill it , and by frying it , it defeats the purpose of eating healthy . I used the oven to roast this chicken breast . Yes i chose chicken breast since it has the least fat content and the highest protein i could get .
So whatever cut of chicken you use , make sure there is enough time to marinade them . At least 3-4 hours . You want to grill or pan fry or like me , roast it in the oven , whatever works . I serve this chicken on a bowl of rice , topped with chopped baby spinach , english cucumber , sweet cherry tomatoes , and the most important thing , tzatziki sauce .
Ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce :
- 2 medium cucumbers , grated , then squeezed and drained , get rid of the water as much as possible
- 12 oz fat free greek yogurt ( you can use homemade or buy the fage non fat greek yogurt )
- 1 tsp salt
- 3-4 garlic clove , minced really well
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Place the garlic , salt , lemon juice and olive oil , whisk well . Add greek yogurt , mix well . Add the cucumber into the yogurt mix . Stir well . Chill for few hours to let the flavor blends .
Directions for shawarma spice mix :
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tsp black pepper
- 4 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- pinch of ground cnnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
You can mix these spices and store it in a jar for anytime you need to make shawarma . To marinade chicken shawarma , you need :
- 2.5 lbs of chicken ( whether it’s breast of thighs , boneless skinless )
- juice from 2 lemons
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves , minced really well
- About 3/4 of the amount of spices you make above
- In a large ziploc bag , add your chicken , ( pat dry with paper towel to remove any liquid )
- In a bowl , mix the lemon juice , olive oil , garlic and spices .
- Pour into the ziploc bag , shake well to cover the chicken , place it in the fridge to marinade at least 4 hours .
- Right before roasting it , chop large onion quarterly . Dump into the ziploc .
- Set oven to 400 F when ready to roast , use meat thermometer , especially if you’re using chicken breast , we don’t want them to turn to be dry .
- Spray the cookie sheet with olive oil spray , place the chicken , juice and the onion onto the sheet , bake until the meat is done . If using chicken thighs , you’re probably good overcooking it a little bit , 35-40 minutes .
To assemble the bowl / plate
- I use jasmine rice , you can always use farro , quinoa , etc . Topped with chopped spinach , diced english cucumber , halves grape / cherry tomatoes , shallots , tzatziki and chicken . Serve .