Spicy Chicken Shawarma - Moroccan at the Evans’ night

Just wish I knew how to pronounce what we made – shawarma (spicy chicken)! This is modified from a Cooking Light recipe this month, and it feels very authentic, something you would have at a great Middle Eastern restaurant. Considering how easy it is and how quickly it comes together, it has a distinctive complexity of flavors. Spices, and some of my favorites – chiles, cumin, coriander – certainly define Moroccan dishes. The veggie salad we had on the side really compliments the chicken and completes the meal.

Spicy Chicken Shawarma
Serves 4

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
6 tablespoons plain non-fat Greek-style yogurt, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini – I realized I didn’t have any in the frig, so I sub’d about a half tablespoon of natural peanut and some sesame oil
4 (6-inch) pitas, halved
shredded lettuce

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 2 tablespoon yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring frequently.

While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining garlic cloves, and tahini, stirring well.

Divide chicken evenly in pita shells. Top chicken with sauce and lettuce.

Chopped Vegetable Salad
2 cups chopped cucumber
1 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper or a mix of red and green pepper
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper.
2 ounces feta cheese

Combine and serve.

A dish like this puts you in the mood to throw the Casablanca DVD on after dinner.

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