Tag Archives: Shish Tawook

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Cosmic Hummus

Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Cosmic Hummus

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Chicken Shawarma with Cosmic Hummus
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Apologies for the infrequent posts lately, but I have been traveling a lot so haven’t been able to cook much. The other night I was in the mood for some good Middle Eastern food. We have a place locally that makes this crave worthy shish tawook where the chicken is perfectly moist and full of flavor with little burnt parts from the flames.

I decided to roast mine in the oven versus over the flames on skewers. Roasting does allow you to keep it nice and moist because it simmers in the juices imparting more and more flavor as it cooks. Another note is I used chicken breast because my lovely wife hasn’t come around on the greatness of chicken thigh meet. When I make dishes where she can’t tell I will slide a few thighs in there.

I’ve made hummus several ways… garlic, roasted pepper, jalapeno etc..but I spotted a recipe from a local joint called the Cosmic Cafe that used cucumber and cilantro which sounded good due to the freshness they would add. It was different and a good compliment to the tangy and spicy schwarma. I used store bought Naan bread and also a box of Rice a Roni. The rice and pasta combo just works. Don’t use the package seasoning in those boxes but instead make your own mix with high quality spices.

Ingredients:
Chicken Schwarma
2 free range air chilled chicken breasts
1 white onion sliced
stems of cilantro (leftover from hummus)
4 cloves of smashed garlic
2-3 lemons juices
squirt of Sriracha
1/2 cup of olive oil
splash of pickle juice
1 tbs of paprika
1 tbs of turmeric
2 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Cosmic Hummus
2 cans of Garbanzo Beans
1 lemon juiced
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 pealed cucumber
handful of cilantro
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbs of paprika
Pinch of cumin
Kosher salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Prep: wash your cilantro, peel your cucumber, cut your onion, juice your lemon and smash your garlic. Score your chicken breast. Also for the cilantro rip off a handful for the hummus and put the rest in the marinade for the chicken.

1. Marinate your chicken. Add everything into a Zip-Lock bag and let it marinate over night or at least two hours. The lemon will help tenderize the chicken and the spices get an opportunity to be absorbed into the chicken.

2. Make your hummus but rinsing your garbanzo beans and pull out some of those shells you will find. Personal preference. Add the beans, cucumber, cilantro, garlic into a food processor and pulse. Slowly add your lemon juice and then your olive oil. I put 1/2 cup of olive oil in my ingredients but eyeball it and add as much as you like or until you get the hummus to the consistency you like (thick or thin). Add your spices and let it blend for 5 minutes more.

3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If you like dryer chicken use a larger pan like a 9 x 13 or go with a smaller dish or pan if you want it more juicy. Add all the contents into the pan and roast the chicken for about 40 minutes. Check on it about thirty minutes into the roasting and turn it or move things around. I flipped mine because I was going to a “wetter” chicken. When your chicken is cooked, remove the cilantro and discard, Remove your chicken and slice it into the bite sized pieces and add it back into the pan and move it around to coat it in the sauce. Serve the chicken and onions with your sides…

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Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan

Shish Tawook Chicken with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob with Hummus, Rice Pilaf and Naan
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We used to live in the “M” street area when we were newlyweds. We gave the restaurants up and down Greenville Ave a good amount of business. One joint we discovered is Ali Baba which fancies itself as Middle Eastern fare. Candidly I didn’t venture too far on their menu outside of lamb and chicken. We always split the Shish Tawook (Taouk) and a bowl of hummus.

I love this stuff so much. It’s lemony, garlicky, savory moist chicken kabob. The way I eat it is like a Middle Eastern fajita. I spread the hummus on my Naan bread and then top with rice then Mediterranean pickles and chicken.
It’s a great conversation meal as you talk and tear off your naan and build each bite according to your tastes and ratios. Sometimes more hummus, or just chicken and rice or hummus and chicken.

The recipes I used for these were just sensational. My hummus, chicken and rice were absolutely perfect. Dare I say as good as the real deal? I do. Think about Greek food’s cousin if you haven’t experienced Middle Eastern or specifically Lebanese food.
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Ingredients:
Store bought Naan bread

Shish Tawook Chicken Kabob
4 chicken breasts (diced into kabob pieces)
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
15 cloves of minced garlic
6 tbs of plain Greek yogurt
6 tbs of olive oil
2 tbs of red wine vinegar
1 tbs of tomato paste
2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp of ginger powder
1 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of paprika
Pinch of Kosher salt and Cayenne (optional)

Hummus from scratch
1 lbs of dried chickpeas
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup of tahini paste
3/4-1 cup of lemon juice
Olive oil
Paprika
Kosher Salt

Lebanese Rice Pilaf
1.5 cups white rice
1/4 clarified butter
1/2 cup of vermicelli pasta (broken into 1 inch pieces)
3 cups of boiling water
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
There are three recipes here so I will take each of them separately but if you make this one night you will soak your chickpeas and marinate your chicken over night (12hrs min). The day of cooking it will take about an hour for the chickpeas to cook so while that is cooking you can do all your prep. Then I suggest making the hummus and then knock out the rice and while it cooks you can grill your chicken. Those will come together at once.

1. Hummus – first off this is time consuming but really good. For many it might be just easier and certainly faster to buy it. I wanted to see how it turned out doing it from scratch. Rinse the chickpeas and then put them into a bowl filled with water and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. 12 hours. Rinse thoroughly and then add them to a pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid on for 60-90 minutes. You should be able to smush it with your fingers(cooled first)

When the chickpeas are done. Strain the water and rinse well. Add to food processor with a cup of warm water. Let it grind smooth for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and half the tahini, salt pepper, paprika, and half of lemon juice. Grind for another 3 minutes. Taste it and add lemon juice, olive oil and tahini a little at a time. Tasting as you go. I refrigerated it to serve cold/cool. IMG_9776

2. Rice Pilaf – Measure your white rice and put into a colander and run water over it until it runs clear. Set aside.
Now take a good sized pot and melt your butter. (clarified/ghee if possible). Break your pasta into one inch pieces and add to the butter. Put three cups of water in a microwave safe bowl and heat to a boil while your stirring your pasta. You want to put a nice brown color on your pasta. That said be careful not to burn it. I stopped a little short so mine could have gone longer but the taste wasn’t compromised. Once pasta is browned add the white rice and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the boiling water and stir once. The whole pot should be boiling. Cover with a lid and turn it on low. Don’t touch it for 15 minutes. Precisely at 15 minutes remove from the burner and fluff with a fork. Perfection!!!
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3. Chicken – While your rice is simmering. Grill your chicken on a kabob. You can add other veggies if you want. I used a red onion I had on hand. Get some nice grill marks. Add the chicken to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam and rest. IMG_9769IMG_9775

Serve all of this together with warm Naan bread. So dang delicious.

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