Our kids have spent a small fortune on Chicken Schwarma's since their adolescence at a local neighbourhood pizzeria which was conveniently located right across the street from their high school and literally a couple of blocks away from our home. When hunger pangs hit they wouldn't grab something out of the fridge, they'd go over and pick up a Schwarma.
It was a win-win situation for them, they loved the homemade delicious food, located close to home and since over the years living in a small community we became friends with the owners that would give our boys huge discounts on food and always send samples home of their wonderful Middle Eastern delicacies.
Gladys, the owner was always offering up a bit extra in each meal she prepared for the family and when there wasn't a line up out the door she'd teach me all about combining seasonings and spices to make my own at home when they weren't open for business. She also taught me how to make the triangular pizza buns to nestle all the ingredients and flavours together for deliriously delicious mouthwatering bite after bite.
This is a bit of a time-consuming recipe and worth all the work and effort that goes into making them that involves four simple components that include:
1. Preparing and cooking the chicken; you can substitute with beef, lamb or pork if you prefer.
2. Whipping up a batch of pizza dough.
3. Whipping up a bowl of delicious creamy garlic sauce.
4. Preparing a selection of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Pepper Jack etc) and vegetable toppings.
This is a perfect meal for picky eaters; they can create their own personalized Schwarma. I typically make this for game nights like the Super Bowl, World Series, NHL Playoffs or just because I am begged to make it if I haven't made it in a long time.
Note, you could, of course, reduce the work and substitute some of the steps by using Caesar salad dressing in place of the garlic sauce and Greek Pita Bread in place of the pizza buns, but why would you want to create an easy knock off when this is so wonderfully delicious?
ASSEMBLING YOUR PERFECT SCHWARMA
1. Split open the pizza buns
2. Scoop in a generous portion of chicken
3. Top with your favourite veggie and cheese toppings
4. Drizzle the top with garlic sauce
The three required recipes to pull this meal together are below:
CHICKEN SCHWARMA RECIPE
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 large breasts)
2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (8 large thighs)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 tsp cumin
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp allspice
1½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Nonstick cooking oil spray
Cut chicken up into bite sized pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl mixing well. Cover with wrap and let marinate for several hours or overnight; we let ours marinate overnight for maximum taste. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven and cook slowly until nicely browned and cooked through. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
In just a few short minutes, you can whip up this perfectly delicious pizza dough that you can be used for of course pizza, Stromboli, garlic sticks and so much more.
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups flour
Dissolve a package of active dry yeast with 1 cup of warm water and sugar in a small bowl and allow it to activate for about 10 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy.
In a large bowl combine flour, salt, oil mixture and olive oil and mix by hand until dough comes together; dust large chopping board with flour and knead until a stiff dough has formed. Transfer the dough to a bowl, gently rub some more olive oil inside the bowl and on top of the dough and cover for about 30 minutes; until dough doubles in size.
This recipe should make 6 large sized triangular Schwarma buns or two large thin crust pizzas. Note: Use a food processor or stand mixer with a dough hook to speed up the process and reduce the cleanup time in your kitchen.
Divide the dough into equal pieces, shape in triangles and roll with a dough docker or pierce the tops with a fork and bake at 425F for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
We typically double and sometimes triple our very easy and super delicious garlic sauce and store in our fridge in clear squeeze bottles. We use our garlic sauce to dip veggies, toasted pita chips, fries and my personal favourite as a side dipping sauce for grilled chicken and steak.
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 to 3 minced garlic cloves (this can be adjusted depending on the intensity of the flavour you want to achieve)
Salt/Pepper/Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste
Fresh Finely Chopped Parsley
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl or a small food processor and transfer to bowl or plastic squeeze bottle. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled using a 2 to 1 ratio of mayonnaise to sour cream.
Transfer to a bowl or pour into a squeeze bottle for ease of use.
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