Chicken Shawarma Wrap
This chicken shawarma sandwich combines earthy mediterranean flavors with a bright tomato and cucumber salad and nutty tahini sauce drizzled on top. When it’s all wrapped up in a non-traditional naan bread, it’s hard to resist.
WHAT IS CHICKEN SHAWARMA?
Traditionally “shawarma” is a middle-eastern preparation of lamb or beef, where slices of the meat are stacked on top of each other in a cone shape and then roasted on a vertical spit. Once cooked, the meat is sliced and served. This recipe for chicken shawarma wraps replicates the middle-eastern flavors of shawarma but instead of marinating, slicing and roasting on a vertical spit, the chicken cooks in an air fryer, making it super easy and super quick.
MARINADE FOR CHICKEN SHAWARMA
All the flavor in this recipe comes from the marinade, which is an easy stir together of spices, lemon juice and olive oil. All of these spices are easy to find in your grocery store, with the possible exception of ground allspice. Although it sounds like a combination of spices, allspice is actually the ground berry of a plant in the myrtle family. If you don’t have any on hand, you could leave it out or add a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of ground cloves and a little extra ground cinnamon.
Marinating does take time, but don’t be dissuaded if you haven’t planned accordingly for this recipe. A little marinating time is better than nothing. Let the chicken marinate while you make the tomato-cucumber salad and tahini sauce for the wraps, and although it won’t be quite as flavorful as letting it marinate overnight, it will still be tasty.
2 TABLESPOONS olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
juice of 1 lemon
1 TEASPOON ground cumin
1 TEASPOON paprika
½ TEASPOON ground allspice
¼ TEASPOON turmeric
¼ TEASPOON ground cinnamon
1 TEASPOON salt
½ TEASPOON freshly ground black pepper
1½ POUNDS boneless chicken breast about 3 chicken breasts
4 PIECES naan bread or fresh pita bread
½ CUP tahini sesame paste
1/3 CUP warm water
juice from ½ lemon
1 CLOVE garlic minced
¼ TEASPOON ground cumin
¼ TEASPOON salt
2 TEASPOONS chopped fresh parsley
1 CUP diced tomatoes
1 small English cucumber
2 TABLESPOONS minced red onion
juice from ½ lemon
1 TEASPOONS red wine vinegar
2 TEASPOON olive oil
2 TABLESPOONS chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spices in a small bowl, whisking well. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Place the chicken in a zipper sealable plastic bag and add the marinade. Massage the chicken in the bag to coat all sides of the chicken with the marinade. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 6 hours, or as long as overnight.
Pre-heat the air fryer to 380°F.
Transfer the marinated chicken breasts to the air fryer basket and air-fry at 380ºF for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping the chicken over halfway through the cooking process.
Make the Tahini Sauce. Add the tahini paste, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt to a food processor or blender. Process until the ingredients are combined, smooth and creamy. If the consistency is too thick, add more warm water. Season to taste with salt and stir in the chopped parsley.
Make the Tomato-Cucumber Salad. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and parsley in a bowl. Toss to combine and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
To assemble the shawarma. Brush both sides of the naan with oil and heat them in the air fryer at 400°F for 2 minutes on each side. (Alternatively, heat the naan on both sides in a skillet with a little olive oil.)
Slice the chicken breast into thin slices. Spread a little tahini sauce on the warm naan bread. Place the sliced chicken on the naan bread and spoon some of the tomato-cucumber salad over the chicken. Drizzle with a little more tahini sauce. Roll or fold the bread up around the fillings. You can wrap parchment paper or foil around half of the shawarma to keep it together. Serve immediately.