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Hi Everyone,

Well I went for a interview (I'm a personal chef) and the client has asked me for Chicken Schwarma....other then it has cucumbers and yogart and yes, I know chicken I don't know anything about it. Yes, they do know and want me to try.

I did a google search but I don't know which one is close. They have had this when they go out to eat.

This needs to be done in the same day so I can't let it sit over night.

Thank You,

Jane

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To my sensibility, THIS recipe looks the closest to what I have had. However, that being said, you should probably ask them where they get this when they go out to eat because the restaurant may do a variation of the more authentic version.

Good luck!

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Also know that most takeout/fast-food style schwarma is cooked on a vertical gas rotating grill (like gyro or puerco al pastor)...it's a big, compressed, rotating log of chicken. The gas flame chars the surface, which is sliced off (thinly) as it cooks, leading to a particularly crispy/crunchy texture. The flavor profile is easy to duplicate with a marinade, but the texture is hard to mimic without a vertical grill.

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You might also try googling Shawarma...alternate spelling brings up lots of things.

Hard to make without the vertical rack, but the basic is that you use very thin chicken cutlets, preferably thigh meat, and after marinating you stack them on the skewer of the vertical rotisserie and then cook it like that.

I would imagine that if you have access to a rotisserie barbecue, you could get much the same effect but you would have to tie the meat top to bottom so it would stay in place as it rotated, since it would be on it's side.

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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It's one of those dishes that has a lot of regional variations; not only between countries, but within countries too.

The one I learned to make in Lebanon is Chicken thighs marinaded in olive oil, slice onions, crushed garlic, thyme, paprika (smoked if not using charcoal to cook), lemon juice and salt.

The sauce was yoghurt, tahini, crushed garlic.

Stack chicken thighs on a rotisserie and cook over coals basting with a little olive oil and lemon juice to keep moist. Once cooked through, slice thinly.

Serve in a pita (or roll as in Germany) with fresh salad things and sauce.

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Here in Amsterdam nearly all of the grocery stores sell "shoarma spice" in a jar for your spice rack...the one i've got lists its contents as coriander, cumin, paprika, curry powder, black pepper, celery seed, cloves, cayenne pepper.

+++

Edited by markemorse (log)
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Shawarma has been a beloved topic on the Middle Eastern subforum, and you can read a lot of discussion about it on this topic (clickety).

If you look around there a while you'll also find some threads devoted to chicken kebabs, or shish tawouk. This thread is one example.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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This is best served as an outdoor meal where the chicken is cooked on skewers as Miraklegirl mentioned, or (if you must) indoors, sauteed in a large pan.

3 lbs chicken breast cut into 1/2-3/4" cubes (for skewers) or into strips for sauteing.

Using a stick blender in a jar, blend 1/2 cup corn oil with 4 cloves garlic and drizzle with juice of one lemon to get a creamy but pour able mixture.

Place chicken skewers in shallow tray ( each skewer should have enough meat for one sandwich), season with salt and pepper, pour marinade on top, turn skewers to coat. Marinate anywhere from one hour to overnight.

As Tino27 mentioned, you should ask your client what they like for toppings.

Traditional toppings are:

Shredded lettuce

Lebanese cucumber pickles

Garlic sauce (discussed here)

The easiest way to make something close to this sauce is to add about 5 crushed cloves of garlic to one cup of mayo, mix well.

To serve , have your toppings ready and near the grill, you will have to work pretty fast. Grill the skewers on a hot section of the grill turning frequently, as they approach doneness move them to a warm area of the grill.

Place a piece of sandwich (deli) paper in one hand, lay a round of pita on it, smear some garlic /mayo down the center, grab a skewer and place it in the pita. Cup the bread around the chicken and pull the skewer out (leaving the chicken in the pita :laugh: ).

Place toppings along side of chicken, fold and roll pita so the paper is covering one half of the sandwich.

You can be ready for each of your guests as they help themselves to side dishes like Tabbouli, Fattoush, French fries and the like.

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Yes! Shish tawouk is excellent. Serve with garlic sauce in pita. Anissa Helou has a wonderful recipe in her book Mediterranean Street Food. We make it all the time - the garlic sauce is wonderful with fries.

Edited to add I just looked at the book, and she also has a recipe for Chicken Shawarma

Edited by hazardnc (log)
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the information. I did do a google search and settled on one. It has a cucumber yogart sauce (which they had mention they liked with it) and garlic and so on. It will be on a pita. I will be pan frying it. I know, I know. But I do all the meals in one day.

Hazardnc, I'm going to have to check on this book on Amazon. I know they like international food. I see more cook books coming my way.

Thank You all!

Jane

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It's one of those dishes that has a lot of regional variations; not only between countries, but within countries too.

The one I learned to make in Lebanon is Chicken thighs marinaded in olive oil, slice onions, crushed garlic, thyme, paprika (smoked if not using charcoal to cook), lemon juice and salt.

The sauce was yoghurt, tahini, crushed garlic.

Stack chicken thighs on a rotisserie and cook over coals basting with a little olive oil and lemon juice to keep moist.  Once cooked through, slice thinly.

Serve in a pita (or roll as in Germany) with fresh salad things and sauce.

Doh! Missed out a key ingredient in my Chicken marinade; in the form of cumin

Itinerant winemaker

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You do have a problem. Most truly fine shawarma is made from lamb and chicken, although somewhat lower in cholesterol, is considered distinctlly second-class. If ever I am elected prime-minister of Israel, president of Egypt or made king of any country in which shwarma is served I can assure you that the first thing I will do is to make chicken shwarma a felony offense.

I do exaggerate. But believe me, not by much.

Best (albeit smiling)

Rogov

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Daniel, what spices and what sauce would you use with your lamb schwerma? Mind you, I'm not willing to give up my chicken altogether, but I'd like to be able to rise above my second-class upbringing. :wink:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I lived in the Middle East for eight years; seven in Saudi Arabia and one in Lebanon.

Nayan Gowda is right about the regional specialties.

To make chicken schwarmas, I dry rub chicken breasts with garlic, ground cumin, salt, pepper, and some Old Bay seasoning. The chicken is cooked on a grill and coarse chopped. (The flavor of this chicken approximates the slow roasted meat that was used in Saudi Arabia.)

The cooked chicken meat is mixed with hummus, chopped cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes. Minced onion may be added. The Saudis also use salted pickles.

Surprisingly enough, this product has sold quite well in our student operated restaurant. We've advertised it as an Arab "taco" and every time we make it, it sells out.

I think the trick to this product is two fold. You have to have a flavorful and slightly spicy meat. You also have to have a decent hummus because this spread will help bind all of the flavors together.

I've tried various internet and cookbook recipes and have found them to be uniformly bland with insufficient garlic, tahini, salt, and lemon juice. As with most foods, I have simply adjusted seasonings to taste. At some point I will need to standardize this recipe for in-house production as I don't have any culinary students who can make a proper hummus.

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Daniel,

When you are king, and I hope you shall so [that our arms races will be from table to mouth :hmmm: ] you could afford to experiment with the following:

fat capon!

Faverolles [breed]

Cubalayas

O-shamo

guinea x chicken hybrids [excellent braised] cochins, Japanese cochins, Nagoya

BTW, do you have fat-tailed lambs in Israel, and where in the Arab world does their appreciation end? By this I mean, if you were to make a certain spot in eastern Iran the epicenter where the fat of these sheep, and their meat reign supreme in flame cookery, and draw imperfect circles, where do you suppose the geographical limits might fall? The Karakul breed [though not possessing any exaggerated features] actually belongs to this larger sub-group of fat-tailed sheep, many of which also are supposd to give especially rich milk.

OTOH, kosher laws may not encourage meat from the hind parts of animals, tails included. Although I find it curious in an anthropological sort of way, that a pastoral people would reject almost half of an animal because of dietary laws??

P.S. Daniel, where I live,

chicken thighs are US 89c-99c/lb, always

chicken leg quarters 50-79c/lb, on sale often, fat laden

chicken breast boneless/skinless $1.79-1.99/lb on sale, often; $2.99 otherwise

US lamb shoulder (bone in) $2.69-2.99/lb.

Very curious: What are some comparable prices where you shop? Thanks much.

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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