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Don’t Shoot the Food – Shawarma Assemble!

If you’ve seen The Avengers, you know that shawarma plays a role, albeit a small one, in Marvel’s magnum opus to citywide destruction and dudes in weird suits. Shawarma also happens to be one of the most awesome foods ever invented. Back when I lived in Virginia, I used to go to Lebanese Taverna because they rocked the chicken shawarma like nobody’s business.

Aside from being in The Avengers, shawarma could conceivably play a role in my current game, Assassins Creed: Revelations. AC:R takes place in Constantinople, a city that is smack dab in the geographical area that shawarma and other levantine foods originated from. Granted, the shawarma sandwich we eat today is pretty far removed from what would have been made circa 1511 but the idea of meat being cooked on a spit, horizontally back then as opposed to the modern, vertical method, is one that you can imagine being around as Ezio walked the streets of Constantinople. Nothing hits the spot after executing some Byzantines like a tasty shawarma sandwich.

I prefer chicken, but shawarma can be made with beef, lamb, goat, turkey or any combination thereof. If you want to get that authentic shawarma feeling you need to cook your meat on a cone, which may be difficult for a home cook, but you can still marinate the meat and grill it up in a manner that is shawarma-y enough for home use. This is a Cooking Light recipe, which means it skews more towards ease and convenience than authenticity but it still tastes damn good. Give this one a try and then you can move on to more authentic fare.

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Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

1. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3. 1 teaspoon curry powder
3. 2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
4. 3/4 teaspoon salt
5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6. 3 garlic cloves, minced
7. 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3-inch strips

1. 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2. 2 tablespoons tahini
3. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
5. 1 garlic clove, minced

Sandwich Stuff
Cooking spray
1. 4 (6-inch) pitas
2. 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
3. 8 tomato slices

Cooking Steps
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
2. Combine the first six ingredients and then toss the chicken to coat. Let it stand at room temperature for around 20 minutes.
3. Combine all of the sauce ingredients and stir well.
4. Thread 2 chicken strips onto each of 8 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.
5. Place pitas on grill rack; grill 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted. Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup lettuce and 2 tomato slices. Divide the chicken up evenly among the sandwiches and drizzle each serving with 2 tablespoons sauce.

Give this one a try the next time you need a quick sandwich on the go as you scour ancient cities for remnants of a lost civilization. Or, you know, on a Tuesday night.


Brandon loves games, which shouldn't be a surprise given where you're reading this. He has written for GameShark, The Escapist and G4, and made them all less relevant as a result.

8 thoughts to “Don’t Shoot the Food – Shawarma Assemble!”

  1. I may be alone but I miss this column. I made a lot of those dishes Brandon.

    Curry scares me.

    1. Being the adventuresome type that I am I was intrigued by the sound of shawarma when it came up in Avengers. Never had it before. Seeing the ingredients list makes me really want to have it. Curry + garlic = win (fortunately my fiancee loves both too otherwise a win for taste would be a lose for… other)

  2. I tried out the Homefront Korean burgers and was pretty impressed so I’ll be trying this out sometime in the near future.

    I hope Don’t Shoot the Food is making a comeback, it’s provided me with some ideas for when I don’t have any ideas for dinner.

  3. I wanna go back and make some of the recipes I’ve missed. In particular, I keep thinking of the Bulletstorm Bacon Explosion. I’ve just not had the guts to try it yet.

    @Stryc9 I agree, that Homefront burger was delicious 😀

  4. So, Avengers this morning and shawarma for dinner, can a day really get much better than that?

    Yet again Brandon saves the day with his shawarma recipe that is probably one of the most delicious things I’ve cooked in quite a while and I look forward to getting to cook it again…maybe this weekend since I only made half of what the recipe says to use.

  5. Made it last night. Turned out pretty well. I think if I marinade the chicken the night before maybe it’ll turn out a little better, but it definitely passed the test with my notoriously picky wife.

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