Monday, October 22, 2012

Spiced Shawarma Chicken Wraps {A Mid-East Feast}

Can I just say how much I adore deceptively simple recipes?  Deceptive in that, although fairly quick and definitely no-fuss, they are absolute crowd-pleasers.  That would be exactly the case with the recipe that we are highlighting this week for our Mid-East Feast featuring Faith's upcoming book, An Edible Mosaic.

It was a matter of slathering some chicken breasts (which I pretty much always have around anyway) with a mixture of yogurt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a plethora of enticing spices (again, things that are either in my fridge or my spice cupboard on any given day) and letting it all sit in the fridge overnight.  During the day, I popped the chicken into a dish and let it do its thang while I did something else.  Then I took a few minutes to slice it thinly, put it back in its baking dish, and then cover it and put it in the fridge until I was ready to make dinner.
So later on, when dinner time rolls around, I mixed up a batch of absolutely irresistible Garlic Mayonnaise.  And can I just say, I wanted to take the whole batch to another room and be alone with it.  It's true.  But I resisted.  I eyed it in my peripheral as I tossed the sliced chicken into a pan with hot oil until it got a little bit golden.  Lay out flatbread, shmear on magical garlic mayo, top with spiced chicken and crispy lettuce - roll.  Brown and crisp a bit on a hot comal.  That.  Is.  It.

Everybody loved them exactly as-is.  And me?  Well, I stole away with the remaining garlic mayo all for myself.  And a little bowl of Kalamata olives.  Dip wrap in mayo, pop an olive in my mouth, take glorious free-will-melting bite.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.
Yeah, two for two.  So far, this book is rockin' my world.  I'm telling you, deceptively simple.  And wonderfully delicious.

Spiced Shawarma Chicken Wraps (Shawarma Dajaj)

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 30 minutes + overnight marinating
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Keywords: bake entree sandwich chicken spice Middle Eastern

Ingredients (serves 8)
    Wraps
    • 1 batch Shawarma Spice Mix (recipe follows)
    • ½ c. (125 ml) plain yogurt
    • 1½ Tbs. fresh lemon juice
    • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1½ tsp. salt
    • 2 lb. (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breast
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for sautéing
    • 16 flatbreads 
    • Garlic Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
    Shawarma Spice Mix
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 2 tsp. ground coriander
    • ¾ tsp. ground black pepper
    • ½ tsp. ground ginger
    • ½ tsp. ground allspice
    • ¼ tsp. ground fenugreek
    • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
    • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
    • ¼ tsp. ground sweet paprika
    • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
    • ⅛ tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne) (optional)
    Garlic Mayonnaise
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed in a mortar and pestle with ½ tsp. salt
    • 2 large egg whites or 1 large egg
    • 1 c. (250 ml) oil
    • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
    • 1 Tbs. cold water
    Instructions
    Prepare the Shawarma Spice Mix.

    Combine the spice mix with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
    Preheat oven to 350°F and spread 1 tablespoon of oil on the inside of a large baking dish.

    Scrape off any excess marinade from the chicken with your hands. Starting in the center of the oiled dish, arrange the chicken so that it overlaps, and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on top. Bake (uncovered) 1 hour, or until the chicken is fully cooked; cool. (It’s done when you cut into the center and there is no pink.)

    Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer it to a large cutting board; slice it very thinly across the grain, then transfer it back into the pan it was cooked in to soak up the juices (the chicken can be refrigerated this way for up to 3 days before continuing with the rest of the recipe, or you can continue after 10 minutes).
    Coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat with oil. Once hot, add the sliced chicken and sauté until crispy and golden brown (you may need to sauté the chicken in two or three batches so the pan isn’t overcrowded).

    Spread some Garlic Mayonnaise in the center of each piece of bread; add some chicken and pickles (and any other vegetables you like) and roll it up.

    Toast the sandwiches on a dry griddle or a flat sandwich press so that the bread gets golden brown and slightly crispy.

    Serve as is, or cut into small rounds; serve with additional Garlic Mayonnaise for dipping.

    Garlic Mayonnaise
    Crush the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle until it forms a smooth paste.

    Whisk together the garlic paste and egg until well blended.

    Add the oil, drop-by-drop, while whisking (after you’ve added 1 tablespoon of oil drop-by-drop, you can add the oil a little faster). Make sure the oil you add is fully incorporated before adding any more.

    Once you’ve added ½ cup (125 ml) oil, alternate between gradually adding the oil and lemon juice and continue mixing until fully incorporated.

    Add the cold water and mix until smooth and creamy.

    Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.
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    AMid-EastFeast

    I am very excited to be taking part in A Mid-East Feast, a 4-week event celebrating the upcoming release of the cookbook An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith of An Edible Mosaic.  Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny is hosting and eight other food bloggers, including myself are participating.  Join us as we try a few of Faith's recipes and get cozy with this beautiful book.  If you have a moment, stop by and check out everybody's posts and be prepared to get hungry for A Mid-East Feast!

    Brandy - Nutmeg Nanny | Amanda - Fake Ginger | Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living | Gina – Running to the Kitchen |Joanne – Eats Well With Others | Heather - girlichef | Natasha – Five Star Foodie | Megan – What’s Megan Making | Rachel – Baked by Rachel  
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