The California Grilled Chicken Shawarma

This California Grilled Chicken Shawarma uses low-fat chicken breast with pita, fresh arugula, avocados and Hidden Valley® Roasted Garlic Ranch dressing.

The California Grilled Chicken Shawarma with avocados and @HVRanch Garlic Dressing - by FamilySpice.com

Comfort food has different meanings depending on what part of the world you grew up in. These comfort dishes tend to evoke memories from your childhood and always bring a smile to your face, even on a rainy day. I grew up in Texas, with a Persian mom and an American dad. Comfort food for me ranges from sausage and barbecue to Persian stews. My husband is Persian. His comfort food list is totally different from mine. And our kids?  They each have their own list of favorite foods.

My husband and I love making kabob for our kids, so it’s no surprise that “meat on a stick” is one of our family’s favorite comfort meals. Persian chicken kabob is lightly seasoned and marinated in a saffron-lemon-yogurt mixture. Chicken shawarma is a Turkish dish and is very aromatic with it’s array of spices. In the traditional sense, shawarma is cooked on a spit, rotisserie style, over open flame. It is typically served in pita with hummus and a very garlicky mayonnaise.

The California Grilled Chicken Shawarma with avocados and @HVRanch Garlic Dressing - by FamilySpice.com

When I was asked to develop a recipe using Hidden Valley® Roasted Garlic Ranch dressing, I immediately thought about creating my own twist to chicken shawarma – a California twist.

First, I used chicken breast instead of chicken thigh meat. It has less fat and is easier to cut and skewer. Because low-fat is a key to eating California-style!

My shawarma marinade is a combination of paprika, cumin, turmeric and other herbs and spices along with extra virgin olive oil and onions. The key to tender, juicy chicken shawarma is let the marinade do it’s magic. It is best to prepare your chicken the night before, but I have also marinated the meat in the morning, to be cooked later that night.

The California Grilled Chicken Shawarma with avocados and @HVRanch Garlic Dressing - by FamilySpice.com

Grilling is another key to my California twist, because we Californians love to be outside. Our backyards are an extension to our homes, an extra dining room to relax in.

Of course what really makes this a California Grilled Chicken Shawarma is how you serve it. I love it on flat bread brimming with spicy arugula, creamy avocados, crisp radishes, sweet bell peppers and drizzled with Hidden Valley® Roasted Garlic Ranch dressing. It has tremendous garlic flavor paired with the ranch dressing my family has always loved.

California Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

Aromatically spiced chicken shawarma gets a California twist when topped with arugula, avocados and Hidden Valley® Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp parsley, dried
  • 1 tsp turmeric, dried
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp mint, dried
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 2 lb chicken breast, boneless skinless
  • 6 pieces of pita bread
  • 2 avocados, seeded and sliced
  • 6 radishes, sliced
  • 3 oz arugula
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/3 cup Hidden Valley® Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, American, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. In a blender purée until smooth:
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1/2 medium onion
    • 4 garlic cloves
  2. In a small bowl mix together:
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp parsley, dried
    • 1 tsp turmeric, dried
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp mint, dried
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    • 1/8 tsp cinnamon, ground
  3. Trim off excess fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes:
    • 2 lb chicken breast, boneless skinless
  4. Place chicken cubes in a resealable bag and cover with seasonings, massaging the meat to thoroughly coat all of the pieces.
  5. Pour onion marinade into the bag with chicken, again massaging the meat to thoroughly coat all of the pieces.
  6. Remove the air and seal the bag shut. Refrigerate the meat to marinate 8 hours to overnight.
  7. Start your charcoal at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.
  8. If using bamboo skewers, soak in water.
  9. Slide chicken breast pieces close together onto skewers, leaving room on each end of the skewer to handle without burning yourself. This also insures the meat is resting on the hottest part of your grill.
  10. Grill kabobs for 8-15 minutes, turning occasionally to cook evenly. The chicken is done when the juice running out is no longer pink.
  11. Serve chicken shawarma with:
    • 6 pieces of pita bread
    • 2 avocados , seeded and sliced
    • 6 radishes , sliced
    • 3 oz arugula
    • 1/2 red bell pepper , julienned
    • 1/3 cup Hidden Valley® Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing
    • 2 green onions , finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup parsley, American , finely chopped

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: If you don't want a sandwich, serve your chicken shawarma over rice or a bed of fresh greens.

You can also serve with hummus, tabouleh and/or Shirazi salad (pictured above).
Cooking Tips: You can also cook your chicken shawarma on the stovetop. Heat a large non-stick skillet on high and add 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil. When oil is hot, brown the chicken in 2-3 batches, until done. Add more olive oil as needed.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 6

Cook Time:

The California Grilled Chicken Shawarma with avocados and @HVRanch Garlic Dressing - by FamilySpice.com

You can find all the new flavors of Hidden Valley® Ranch dressing at major grocery stores and Wal-Mart. And see what it inspires in your cooking!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by TapInfluence on behalf of Hidden Valley® RanchThe story I have written is all true, and the opinions are truly mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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3 Responses to The California Grilled Chicken Shawarma

  1. Eha at #

    I am so glad to have an authentic shawarma mix recipe to try . . . . have cooked the dish for years but have to admit to knowing a few very good small spice merchants in Sydney whose talents and knowledge I have used . . . . 🙂 !

  2. Looks delicious and mouth water.. Shawarma is one of my go to food while outside. Totally agree that how it is served is an important factor for any shawarma.. loved it

  3. Heghineh at #

    Wow ,that looks so appetizing, love the colors too,I will try it over the weekend.
    thank you for sharing

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