The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine

Chicken shawarma


Serves 4

Makhlouf, a tiny kebab shop in the Armenian neighbourh­ood Bourj Hammoud in Beirut, serves the best chicken shawarma in the world. The meat is so well spiced and juicy, and the chips soak up all the juices. If you can’t find Lebanese garlic sauce, mix a little mashed garlic with mayonnaise.

For the marinade

— 1 tsp ground cumin

— ½ tsp ground coriander

— ½ tsp Lebanese seven spice

or baharat

— ½ tsp paprika

— ¼ tsp turmeric

— 1½ tsp cider vinegar

— 1 tbsp olive oil

— 4 garlic cloves, crushed

— 55g Greek yogurt

For the kebab

— 500g skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets — 300g potatoes, peeled and cut into chips

— 1 tbsp olive oil — juice of ½ lemon

To serve

— Lebanese garlic sauce — 4 large flatbreads

— 2 Baby Gem lettuces, shredded

— 2 large handfuls of parsley leaves — gherkins and pickled turnips, sliced — chilli sauce Mix all the ingredient­s for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerat­e overnight.

When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7. Put the chips into a mixing bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for five minutes. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Transfer to a roasting tray. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt. Mix well and roast for 12 minutes so that the chips start to soften.

Remove the chicken from the fridge and lay the fillets on a grilling rack. Remove the chips from the oven and turn. Place the rack with the chicken over the tray of chips and return to the oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Slice the chicken into thin strips and squeeze over the lemon juice. Toss together.

To serve, spread loads of the garlic sauce over the flatbreads. Top with the lettuce, parsley, gherkins, pickled turnips, chicken and those incredibly soggy chips. Drizzle over chilli sauce to taste, roll up and devour.

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