Taste the Wonders of the World: Chicken Shawarma
We’ve made it possible to experience this Egyptian street-food-fantasy at home with our new Chicken Shawarma Spice ‘n Easy. Inspired by the Great Pyramid of Giza, the newest dish in our Wonders of the World Spice ‘n Easy series will have you asking for sha-more-ma!
The Great Pyramid of Giza (and its two slightly smaller neighbors) is the last surviving wonder of the ancient world. Standing tall just outside the major city of Cairo, these long-enduring structures were built as tombs for Pharoahs–Egyptian kings– and were meant to usher their inhabitants into the afterlife with everything they would need. Time hasn’t been entirely kind to the pyramids–they’re missing a white limestone casing and a couple dozen feet of height off the peaks–but the majority of the structures have survived thousands of years of weather, robbers, and the hot desert sun.
So how are we bringing the Egyptian street food experience to our own home kitchens? Chicken Shawarma Spice ‘n Easy draws inspiration from the classic flavor profile of Egyptian shawarma–earthy spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander; floral cardamom; and a hint of heat from black pepper and paprika. Mixed in a marinade of yogurt and lemon juice and broiled to bubbly perfection in the oven, the resulting dish is bright, warming, and perfect for the whole family.
While our broiler method is quick to the table (just 15 minutes!) and easy for anyone to serve up, the word “shawarma” itself refers to the cooking method traditional to the dish. Much like Turkish doner kebab or Greek gyros, meat is stacked onto a vertical spit and rotated steadily within a heat source to create juicy, tender meat that’s shaved off the stack and into awaiting open mouths. Constructing a vertical, rotating meat-cooking machine in a home kitchen is a big–perhaps impossible–task, but we have a method that might give a similar experience.
To create a vertical spit in your oven, cut an onion in half, stab one end of a bamboo skewer in the middle, and stack your marinated meat on top of the oven on the skewer. Top the pile with the other half of the onion (bonus: those onion juices will cook out and add even more flavor!), set your oven rack as low as it can possibly go, and bake the whole contraption until your meat is ready to serve. For more detail on this method, check out our Chicken Shawarma Pitas recipe.
Still want the skewer experience but don’t want to MacGyver your oven? We’ve got you covered there, too. This dish works great stacked onto skewers with bell peppers and grilled for a smoky char. Whether you choose to broil, roast, or grill, thanks to Chicken Shawarma Spice ‘n Easy the result will be the same: delicious!
Not feeling chicken tonight? This flavorful recipe mix and fool-proof method works just as well with cauliflower, par-cooked potatoes, pork chops, flank steak, or lamb!
Of course, we’re not here just for the meat. Much like the Pharoahs in their tombs, we’re not sending this chicken off to the afterlife (aka our stomachs) alone. Serve up Chicken Shawarma Spice ‘n Easy in a warm pita with Mt. Olympus Spiced Tzatziki, Simple Savory Hummus, and some diced cucumber and tomato. Cap off the meal with some Baklava Bars for a sweet and salty finish.
Chicken Shawarma Spice ‘n Easy is a meal fit for Pharoahs with flavors that will last (almost) as long as the pyramids have. But, it’s only available for a limited time, so stock up before it’s sarcapha-gone for good!
For teasers of what tasty trip we are taking next and to learn more about our Wonders of the World series, read our Taste the Wonders of the World blog.