Monday, May 27, 2013

Chicken Shwarma

Before our epic weekend get-a-way we made a classic near-eastern sandwich known as shwarma.  The best way I can describe it would be to say it's an Arabic gyro.  You could then be forgiven for calling Gyro "Greek Shwarma."  You get the idea.

Shwarma is simplicity itself.  The meat is marinated in various spices for an hour or overnight if you like, then cooked, then wrapped tightly  in a pita, stuffed with complementary vegetables and sauces and grilled.  The resulting sandwich can only be described as a gastronomical work of art.  Where to begin?

For one thing, the crispy, grilled, almost burnt outside is the perfect juxtaposition for the rest of the contents of the sandwich.  Chopped up dill pickles, raw onion, and a creamy garlic sauce all heated to perfection mix in your mouth and it seems nothing can top the combination of the cool cucumber or dill pickles, creamy garlic sauce and vegetables you've added.  That is until you try the marinated meat which is the real life of the party.  The savory and slightly salty creamy garlic sauce and dill pickles complement the marinated meat perfectly.

It's almost as if the contents of the sandwich are only eaten well together.  By itself the chicken is special, but is most certainly missing something.

But enough about my thoughts.  Let's get the food pictures!
Whisk your spices in with olive oil

Crush up some garlic and add to mayonnaise   I personally stick by the old adage "if you ain't cheatin' you aint tryin' " so at this point, I add some garlic hummus to mayo and it turns out VERY nicely.  The hummus gives it a very nice texture.

Chop onion and cucumbers and save for later.  My first screw up - should have used  dill pickles instead of cucumbers but they still tasted great.

coat some cut up raw cubed chicken (we used 2 boneless breasts but you should use a mixture of white and dark meat for the best flavor).  mix in a bowl with the olive oil and spices.

probably tastes better grilled but we cook ours on very low heat so all those nice flavors mix around.

here is what the finished product looks like.  

spread your hummus mayo crushed garlic on a pita (we like tortillas because  they  grill up nicer and are nice and crispy)

add some onions, dill pickles or cucumber pieces.

add your cooked chicken

small french fries added make a very nice complement to the sandwich as well.

wrap it all up, grill it on a small grill surface.  Real grills work very well for this purpose.  Remember you're heating up the inside and grilling the outside of the sandwich.

enjoy.  I had this baby with a cider.

As promised, here's everything you'll need:

pitas, tortillas, or some other grillable flat bread.
2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts, or a combination of light and dark meat chicken meat, thighs breasts, etc
1 tablespoon garlic hummus
2 tablespoons of mayo
3 cloves of garlic
1 cucumber
1 small onion
Roughly 5 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
2 teaspoons of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of salt
pinch of salt
french fries (optional)

How to Make:

whisk all your spices together in with the olive oil.
cut up your chicken into small chunks or slices - whichever you prefer
place your chicken into the bowl with the olive oil spice mixture and coat it
let it sit for at least an hour in the fridge
crush up garlic and mix with mayonnaise and garlic hummus
chop up your veggies

when the chicken is done marinating, cook it on low heat until it's cooked thoroughly through.  Place the cooked chicken individually in a bowl  (piece by piece)

Assemble your Shwarma!

Spread the mayo on the bread.
Place chunks of chicken on the mixture.
Place a few veggies and/or french fries on top
Wrap tightly
Grill on a flat surface, grill, George Foreman Grill, etc.  (using a pan works as well but you'll have to turn it).

Enjoy.  Thank me by commenting!

Friday, May 24, 2013


Welcome to Cozido!  

This is our family's blog about cooking, eating, life, work, play, and sharing good company and good food with friends and family.  The kitchen is synonymous with warmth, comfort, memories, and all of the things that tantalize the senses.  No other room in the house evokes such a powerful sensory experience than the kitchen.  That's why the kitchen is our favorite room in our house.  

We're glad you could join us here!  So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and relax - you're in good company.

Steven and Leonor.


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