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Chicken shawarma sandwiches by Yotam Ottolenghi
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The archetypal meat dish of the Middle East is as much about the spices applied to the meat and the condiments served with it as it is about the familiar cooking method on a spit. The spiced chicken and onion salsa will no doubt turn into a staple in your kitchen, they are so good. If you don’t like tahini, try well seasoned Greek yogurt with crushed garlic
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8 skin-on chicken thighs, bones removed
20g fresh root ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
28g pack coriander, chopped
¾ tbsp sumac
1 tsp salt
2½ tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp groundnut oil
3 cardamom pods, seeds removed
¾ tsp coarse ground black pepper
¾ tsp mixed spice
¾ tsp sweet smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp ground cumin
4 large pitta breads
½ cucumber, thinly sliced
Red onion salsa:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 tsp cider vinegar
4 tsp sumac
2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
100g tahini paste
2½ tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1. Pat dry the chicken pieces and put in a medium bowl. Add the ginger, garlic, coriander, sumac, salt, lemon juice and 5 tbsp groundnut oil; stir together and set aside.
2. Crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar, then toast, with the rest of the spices, in a small frying pan for 1–2 minutes until fragrant. Add to the bowl. Rub the marinade into the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
3. To make the onion salsa, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Place a griddle pan on a high heat. Once red hot, cook the chicken pieces for 2 minutes on each side until brown. Transfer to an oven tray and finish off in the oven for 4–6 minutes, or until cooked through and no pink meat remains. Remove and allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting the chicken into 1cm-thick slices. Drizzle any remaining juices from the pan over the meat.
5. While the chicken is in the oven, wipe most of the residue from the griddle pan and add the remaining groundnut oil. Drizzle the pittas with a little water, just to moisten on the outside, and place in the pan for about a minute on each side, to warm up. Cut the pittas in two and open each half to make a pocket.
6. Just before serving, make the tahini sauce: mix the tahini paste with the lemon juice, 90ml water, garlic and a pinch of salt until completely smooth with a honey-like consistency (add a little water to loosen if necessary).
7. Spoon some tahini sauce, chicken and cucumber slices into each pitta half and top with the onion salsa. Serve at once.
Typical values per serving:
More info: 49.5g protein, 5.2g fibre.