Shawarma is a typical Middle Eastern street food that’s sold on street corner kiosks, fast food joints, and restaurants in Middle Eastern countries and beyond.
It’s sort of similar to the Greek Gyro but is seasoned with different spices and allowed to marinate for at least a few hours. It’s usually cooked very much like the Turkish Doner Kebab which is a cone of mixed meats (beef, lamb, and chicken) cooked on a vertical spit. Typically it’s served as a Shawarma Sandwich which is pita bread stuffed with shaved meat, tahini sauce, and fresh and pickled veggies. It can also be served as a plate with rice, salad, hummus, and pita bread.
Today most Middle Eastern restaurants and fast food places serve specific shawarma meats such as beef or chicken shawarma in a sandwich or as a plate. Needless to say both are very popular in our family!
But the real secret to Shawarma isn’t the meat or the way it’s cooked. The secret lies in the spices used. You can make shawarma in your oven, grill, and even in your Instant Pot. In fact I always make it in my Instant Pot! I’m working on an article to share how to make Beef Shawarma in an Instant Pot; but before I can make any type of shawarma using any method I have to season the meat!
I’m actually a big believer in spice rubs. I make all sorts of rubs for different things such as my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub. I mean sauces are great for adding flavor to meat after it’s cooked, but what really gives meat great flavor are rubs and marinades. So if you want to make homemade shawarma that tastes like you ordered it from a Middle Eastern restaurant you’ll need this Shawarma Spice Mix.
I usually mix up a large batch; large meaning enough mix to fill a quart sized Mason Jar. I store my Shawarma Spice Mix in a sealed jar in my pantry, it stays fresh for about 3 months, assuming you don’t use it all before then! The spice mix can be used for beef or chicken shawarma and can even be added to other recipes when you’re wanting to add a touch of exotic flavorings.
To use the mix as a marinade for shawarma I use a teaspoon of mix per pound of meat. Combine the mix with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, and a pinch of salt then massage it on to the meat. Place the meat in a ziplock bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
Who doesn’t love the sweet tangy taste of Barbecued Chicken? But have you ever wondered how those BBQ joints (as my NYC cousin calls them) make such delicious chicken? I used to think it was all in the sauce which they slather on quite generously. But oh how wrong I was! I tried slathering different brands of barbecue sauces on my grilling chicken; all I got was burned sauce dripping off tasteless chicken! Restaurant worthy finger licking good barbecued chicken requires 2 things: BBQ Chicken Rub and really good barbecue sauce.
So really it all begins with a basic BBQ Chicken Rub; by the way in case you were wondering barbecued brisket, ribs, and other meats require a rub too; but I use a slightly different version with different spices. I generally make a large batch of BBQ Chicken Rub, meaning a batch large enough to fill the 8 oz. mason jar I store it in. This way I always have some handy, at least that’s the plan, whenever we feel like making barbecued chicken.
You will use about 1/4 of the jar each time you want to grill about 8-9 pieces of chicken. I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me use the correct amount for some amazing chicken. To use it you will need to drizzle 2 Tbs. of Olive Oil on the chicken ( I use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but you can use whatever parts you want although it’s best to at least remove the skin before seasoning.) Then massage the BBQ Chicken Rub on each piece of chicken, be sure you get all sides. Place the chicken in ziplock bag and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Or better still leave it in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. Remember the longer it rests the more flavoring it will absorb.
If you’ve had the chicken marinating in the fridge for longer than 30 minutes let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature. Then grill* the chicken until just about 2 minutes before it’s full cooked then brush on barbecue sauce (homemade or your favorite brand) and cook for 1 minute, flip over, brush more sauce on and cook for another minute or until cooked.* Read Tips on how to Grill Barbecued Chicken below.
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Here’s my recipe for Basic BBQ Chicken Rub. You can also use it on Turkey and other poultry you want to grill.
Summer’s in full swing! This means our backyard grills our working overtime turning out delicious barbecued food. And those of us who prep for the barbecues are looking for different foods our partners or husbands can toss on the grill. Well just in time for your July 4th. barbecue are my Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers. They are delicious!
My Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers are easy to make and best of all can be served as a meal of chicken kabobs, top fresh salads for a light lunch, or rolled in a tortilla for an delicious snack!
These Sweet Lime Cilantro Chicken Skewers are perfect for your next backyard barbecue. They’re a little bit sweet, a bit cirtursy, and a whole lot spicy! Serve it with a side of my Spicy Homemade Salsa for a delicious Mexican Fiesta!
If you’re not a fan of hot spicy food, no worries, just omit the peppers for a milder version.
Now that summer’s pretty much hear the temperature is heating up. The last think many of us want to do is to spend hours in a hot kitchen preparing dinner! I know I’m always looking for summer dishes I can prepare in minimal time. Lately I’ve been dishing up my Pan Fried Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts to the family. It’s light but filling, takes minutes to prepare, and best of all the family loves it!
My Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts require just 3 main ingredients and spices you probably already have in your spice rack. The chicken breasts are sliced as thin as possible so that they cook in minutes. This summer chicken dish is fast becoming a family favorite.
Serve this delicious Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts with a salad for a light meal or with a side of refried beans and Spanish rice for a hearty meal.
Chimichangas are my favorite Mexican dish. It’s always what I order at Mexican restaurants. They are delicious!
You may be wondering what exactly are chimichangas. It’s really nothing more than a deep fried burrito! I’m not a burrito fan at all, but I’m definitely a chimichanga fan!
Actually you can turn just about any burrito into a chimichanga by simply frying it. In fact I’ve deep fried frozen store bought burritos. Of course they don’t taste as good as homemade, but they’ll do when you’re in a rush to get dinner on the table.
Now you can fill chimichangas with just about anything. Shredded Beef, Chicken, or Pork seem to be the most popular filling. But I’ve had seafood chimichangas as well as bean filled ones. One of our family favorites are ground beef chimichangas. They’re the easiest to make.
I serve them with shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole on the side. Everyone can add their own toppings. It goes great with Spanish Rice and Refried Beans.
Today I’m sharing my recipe. Hope you love it!
Ground Beef Chimichanga
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
2 Tbs. Chili Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper flakes
1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
10 Flour Tortillas, the 8″ size
Oil for frying
Toppings of your choice (salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.)
Place beef in a pan over medium heat
Add all the spices and cook until beef is crumbly
Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese
Place about 1/4 cup of beef filling on the middle of a tortilla, fold in ends and roll like a burrito