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Martha's pitta bread & chicken shawarma
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For the chicken shawarma
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Shawarma Spice Blend
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
500g chicken thigh fillets
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
75g cucumber, sliced
1 Waitrose 1 Jack Hawkins Slicing Tomato, sliced
For the pitta bread
375g strong white bread flour
1½ tsp dried yeast
1½ tsp salt
1½ tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1. For the chicken, pour the lemon juice and olive oil into a bowl. Sprinkle in the spices and stir to combine, then add the chicken thighs. Turn the chicken so it is fully coated in the mixture, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least 1 hour.
2. For the pitta bread, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and stir to incorporate using one hand, or the dough hook attachment on your mixer.
3. Add about 175ml warm water to the flour mixture and stir until a rough dough forms. Continue to gradually add up to a further 75ml warm water, until you have a sticky but not wet dough. Knead until it is silky and stretchy.
4. Place the kneaded dough into a greased bowl. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place, until almost doubled in size – about 45 minutes.
5. Briefly knead the risen dough and divide into 8, then roll into balls and place on a lightly floured tray. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes, before rolling each pitta out into a thin oval shape using a rolling pin.
6. Preheat the oven to 240°C, gas mark 9 and preheat the grill to high. Remove the chicken from the fridge for 30 minutes. Place a baking tray into the oven to heat up. Lay the pitta dough onto the preheated tray, leaving enough space between each one to expand in the oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes, in 2 batches if necessary, until puffed and just starting to colour on the tops. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. The pittas will deflate as they cool – watch out for the steam as it is very hot.
7. Meanwhile, spread the chicken thighs out on a baking tray and grill for 5-6 minutes each side, until nicely browned, cooked through, the juices run clear and there is no pink meat. Leave to rest for a further
5 minutes before slicing.
8. Fill each pitta with sliced chicken shawarma, seasoned yogurt, cucumber and sliced tomato – or use your own favourite ingredients. The breads don’t keep all that well, so eat on the day of making, or freeze, then defrost and warm through before using.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in July 2019.