Is this Döner? Or do I mean Shawarma? I’m not sure there is much difference but no doubt someone can enlighten me. Although in reality, it isn’t either of them because it is not cooked on a vertical rotisserie and shaved off into a pita.
Of course, there is no döner or shawarma joint within reasonable driving distance of my house or even within unreasonable driving distance. Fortunately this is an easy substitute. I’d say quick too, but for that necessary period of marination. Note that the chicken will cook in about 10 minutes. I’m saying 20 because you will need some time to get the greenery and sauce organized. I used hydroponic lettuce, cabbage, and carrots, but in season tomatoes would be appropriate. A slice of dill pickle is surprisingly authentic, and Torshi Lift is also classic, if you happen to have some.
4 to 6 servings
15 minutes prep time – 20 minutes cooking time
4 to 24 hours marinating time
Marinate the Chicken:
1 medium shallot
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup thick yogurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon rubbed thyme or savory
2 teaspoons rubbed mint
500 grams (1 pound) skinless, boneless chicken
Peel and mince the shallot; peel and mince the garlic. Place them in a container with a cover, in which the chicken can marinate.
Add the yogurt, tomato paste, and lemon juice. Add all the seasonings. Mix well.
Slice the chicken into thin strips. It is easiest if the chicken is semi-frozen, but if you are able to slice it 1/4 inch thick or less when it is not frozen, it isn’t required. Add the chicken strips to the marinade, and mix them in well. Cover and refrigerate from 4 to 24 hours.
Finish the Dish:
2 cups mixed salad greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
the juice of 1/4 lemon
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tahini
the juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 to 6 pita breads
Wash and coarsely chop the greens, and dress them with the oil, juice of 1/4 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the tahini with the remaining lemon juice in a small bowl until very smooth. Thin with a little cold water if it is still too thick; it should be about the thickness of cream.
Heat the butter in a skillet over high heat. As soon as it is melted and bubbling, dump in the chicken with all of the marinade. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked and the marinade has thickened and coated the chicken. Once it is fairly dry and starting to brown in spots, remove the chicken from the burner.
Place a portion of the chicken in each pita bread, along with salad and tahini sauce in proportion. Fold or roll the sandwich into a cylinder for easiest consumption. I am only half joking when I suggest wrapping it in foil or waxed paper – dripping is a definite hazard.