Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

The marinade for this chicken shawarma is based on a highly coveted and authentic recipe from a Lebanese restaurant in Calgary. The exact ingredients and proportions are considered a family secret of the owner, but I’ve been lucky enough to reproduce a nearly identical replicate of it! For a simple “sandwich” this dish takes some planning and effort, but it’s worth it as you’ll be able to indulge in one of the most authentic and tastiest Lebanese shawarmas around. Enjoy!
Note: There are several keys to preparing this dish. The first is ensuring the chicken marinates for at least 24 hours to allow the meat to absorb as much flavor as possible. The second is to use a sandwich wrap, or parchment paper, to wrap the shawarma. The last is to use a panini (or similar) grill to toast the shawarma before serving.

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: main
Serves: 8+

Ingredients
  • 12-15 boneless, skinless, fat trimmed chicken thighs (Costco sells packs of chicken legs at a great price)
  • 8-10 whole wheat pita, 2cm of the left and right most edges cut off, and then the rest of the pita split open to form two pita sheets (see pictures)
For the chicken marinade
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1½ cups vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon Kirkland sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground Kirkland Tellicherry pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Sumac seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Kirkland organic tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
For the white sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Sumac seasoning
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • fresh ground Kirkland Tellicherry pepper to taste
  • Kirkland sea salt to taste
Optional – For the pickled cabbage
  • ½ cup red cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon Kirkland sea salt
  • Splash of Sriracha hot sauce
For the toppings of your choice
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cup banana peppers
  • ⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • pickles
  • iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Instructions
For the chicken marinade (24 hours ahead of time)
  1. In a large bowl mix all the marinade ingredients together. Add the chicken thighs, mix thoroughly and then place the chicken and marinade into a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Optional – For the pickled cabbage (24 hours ahead of time)
  1. In a bowl add all the ingredients together.
  2. Transfer to a storage container and let sit in the fridge for 24 hours . It is important for all of the cabbage to be underneath the liquid, so if you don’t have enough liquid add more water. Then place a small plate on top of the cabbage, press down and if necessary use something heavy on top of the plate to hold it down and keep the cabbage under the liquid.
For the white sauce
  1. In a bowl mix all the white sauce ingredients together.
Grill the chicken
  1. Remove the thighs from the marinade and grill on a BBQ over medium or medium high heat until nicely charred and cooked thoroughly.
  2. Remove from the grill and allow to sit for a minute or two. Then slice the thighs into strips.
Prepare the shawarma wraps
  1. Plug in and warm up your panini/sandwich grill.
  2. Place a large rectangular piece of sandwich wrap or parchment on the counter.
  3. Place two layers of pita bread, one laying on top of the other, in the middle of the sandwich wrap. (see pictures)
  4. Generously apply white sauce in the middle ⅓ of the pita, in a rectangular shape. (We want to leave about ⅓ of the top and bottom of the pita empty so we can pull them over top.)
  5. Drizzle Sriracha sauce over the white sauce. The more the hotter!
  6. On top of the white sauce apply chicken strips and then toppings of your choice, in the order of tomatoes, banana peppers, pickles, onion, parsley, cabbage and then lettuce.
  7. Add more white sauce on top of your toppings.
  8. Pull the top ⅓ of the first layer of pita bread around the toppings. While holding it down, pull the ⅓ of the bottom of the first layer so as to create an enclosed wrap.
  9. Lift and flip over your wrap onto the second layer so that the first layer of wrap won’t open.
  10. As we did with the first layer, pull the ⅓ of the top and then ⅓ of the bottom of the second layer of pita bread around the first layer to form our shawarma.
  11. In a similar fashion, pull up and wrap the sandwich wrap around the shawarma, the end result should be a flattened brick. (see pictures)
  12. Tuck and fold in the outside edges of the sandwich paper into the shawarma.
  13. Place the shawarma into the panini grill and grill for 2 minutes.
  14. Flip the shawarma over and grill for another 2 minutes.
  15. Remove the shawama from the grill and cut it in half at a slight angle.
  16. Peel back the sandwich wrap and enjoy!

 

After 24hours the chicken is ready to be grilled.

After 24hours the chicken is ready to be grilled.

The marinated chicken is grilled.

The marinated chicken is grilled.

The shawarma is built using toppings of your choice.

The shawarma is built using toppings of your choice.

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma