Friday, September 27, 2019

Chicken Shawarma with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce or Toum

I love a good shawarma. I also love fenugreek, a pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seed which – in ground form – is used in curry powders, spice blends, and teas. After searching for a chicken shawarma recipe using fenugreek in the spice mixture, I finally found one on Veronica's Cornucopia.
This version is for a sandwich, but I felt it would work just as well as a dinner entrée.

Chicken Shawarma with rice pilaf, salad and lavash.
Chicken Shawarma with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce or Toum
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded until thin
Ingredients used in the seasoning blend
Seasoning Blend Ingredients:
2 tsp. fenugreek                                       1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. allspice                                           1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon                                       1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger                                             1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cloves                             1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. lemon juice                                 
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic

Tahini Sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt                        1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice                         2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
The night before serving, combine the seasoning blend spices in a gallon-size plastic bag and shake to combine. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic, and massage the bag to combine, creating a thick-ish paste. Add chicken pieces, seal tightly, and massage the marinade into the chicken until all the pieces are coated.

Refrigerate overnight.

Note: Prepare the tahini-yogurt sauce the night before by whisking all the ingredients together and storing in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.

Grill (outside) or pan-grill (stovetop) the chicken breasts on both sides until no longer pink in the center. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut chicken into thin strips.

Can be served as an entrée with rice, salad, and a vegetable of your choice, or as a sandwich: fill pita bread with lettuce, chicken strips, tomato, cucumber, and onion, and top with tahini sauce or toum.

Recipe for Toum is from Liz Della Croce, the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl®, a healthy food, travel and lifestyle blog.

1 cup garlic cloves peeled (roughly 3 heads of garlic)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups canola oil you may not need all of this
1/4 cup lemon juice (about one lemon)
Place the garlic cloves and salt in a large food processor and puree until smooth. It's a good idea to scrape down the sides two or three times to ensure that all of the garlic is finely processed.

Turn the machine back on and slowly drizzle in the oil through the lid starting with 1/2 cup. After the first 1/2 cup has been added, pour in a teaspoon of the lemon juice.

Continue alternating between 1/2 cup of the canola oil and a teaspoon of the lemon juice until you've added all of the oil and lemon juice. Alternating between the two is the key to proper emulsification which creates the light and fluffy garlic sauce.

You know it's done when the sauce is white and thick with a similar consistency of mayonnaise. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Recipe Notes:
Do not replace canola oil with olive oil, it will ruin the end result.
You can use vegetable or corn oil.
If the mixture breaks while processing, stop adding additional oil and lemon juice and continue pulsing until it comes together again.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

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