Good karma schawarma

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyMedium
480ml plain yoghurt
40g minced garlic
150g minced onion
60ml red wine vinegar
4 tbsp freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tsp fresh sage
1.8kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut or pounded 30mm thick
90g frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
170g roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
Tzatziki sauce, recipe follows
Flatbread, recipe follows
Special equipment: 20cm by 30cm by 10cm aluminium foil tray

For the flatbread

225g whole-wheat flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling out dough
1 tsp salt
240ml water

For the tzatziki sauce

240ml Greek yoghurt
240ml sour cream
1/2 English cucumber, chopped into 0.5cm dice
10g freshly minced mint leaves
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1) In a large bowl, combine the yoghurt with the garlic, onion, vinegar, parsley, oregano, salt, cumin, pepper, chilli flakes and sage. Add the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

2) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 with the oven rack at the centre position. Fit a 23cm by 32cm baking tray with a cooling rack.

3) Remove the chicken from the marinade, taking off any excess marinade. Place the meat randomly on top of each other on the aluminium foil tray, creating 2.5cm layer of meat. Add the spinach, spreading evenly, and repeat with another 2.5cm layer of meat. Add a layer of red peppers, and finish by covering with another 2.5cm of meat.

4) Press the layers firmly together. Place the foil tray with the chicken on the rack of the baking tray and poke holes in bottom of the foil to allow excess liquid to drain. Bake in centre of the oven for 45 minutes until the chicken is firm and holds together.

5) Cut off the corners of the foil tray and push the sides down, to expose the meat so it can brown. Continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until the meat registers an internal temperature of 74C using an instant-read thermometer.

6) Remove the schawarma from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Place on a cutting board, discarding the foil, and slice into 1cm thick pieces. Serve sandwiched in chapatis and drizzled with tzatziki sauce.

Flatbread:
1) In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in water, until a dough forms. Lightly flour a clean board and knead the dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. Rest the dough in a bowl covered with damp towel for 20 minutes.

2) Preheat a griddle pan over a medium heat. Divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Using a rolling pin, roll the balls out on a floured board to about 18cm in diameter and 0.5cm thick.

3) Place the flatbread rounds onto the griddle. Flip when raised bumps appear on the top surface, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cook the second side until it turns golden. Do not cook too long or the flatbread will become brittle. Cover with a towel for up to 20 minutes before serving.
Yield: 8 (18cm) flatbread rounds

Tzatziki sauce:
1) In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together well.

2) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Yield: 600ml

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