Spicy Chicken Shawarma

I’m sure I have mentioned, I have 2 favorite magazines as a source of my most favorite recipes. One of them is Cooking Light, and that is where I found this little keeper.  The recipe calls for tahini which is a sesame seed paste and a staple in the Middle Eastern diet. You can find it at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and I have even heard Costco. Well, I don’t have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods near me and since the recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon, I am not sure what I’d do with a gallon of it from Costco. If you are in the same boat, you can try making your own but again, that is a lot of leftover tahini. Anyway, you can substitute with hummus which is what I did, or according to Alton Brown, peanut butter will do.

  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 5  tablespoons  plain Greek-style yogurt, divided
  • 2  tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
  • 2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon  tahini
  • 4  pitas, halved
  • 1/2  cup  chopped cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  chopped tomato
  • 1/4  cup chopped red onion

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat.

Heat oil in a large nonstick 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 1 garlic clove, and tahini, stirring well.

Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons tahini mixture inside each pita half; divide chicken evenly among pita halves. Fill each pita half with 1 tablespoon cucumber, 1 tablespoon tomato, and 1 1/2 teaspoons onion.