This Chicken Shawarma and Pita Salad is spiced, griddled chicken served with a cool salad and a creamy, zesty dressing – perfect for hot or cold weather.
Sharwarma. Is it just me or does that word sound like something deliciously smoochy like a romantic slow dance outdoors, in a candlelit square of a beautiful warm country. With lots of wine.
Maybe I need a holiday. Or maybe valentine’s day is actually making me feel a little slushy.
If I said Sharwarma to Chris on the other hand, he’d immediately think of Iron Man’s sharwarma quote in that Avengers film. Actually, that was the first time I’d ever heard of this dish, and if Iron Man thought it’d be good, then it’s bound to be.
It’s still freezing cold outside, and I was looking for something healthy – but not wimpy & unsatisfying – whilst I was on my ‘ridiculous diet’ (oh that reminds me, I haven’t told you about that yet! I’ll get it written up soon!).
This Chicken Shawarma and Pita Salad proved itself to be the perfect solution. Chicken, marinated in garlic and spices, charred on the griddle, served over a fresh green salad, sprinkled with some crunchy toasted pita and all topped off with a creamy, zesty dressing with a hint of red chilli.
It was so good, I didn’t even need the little tiny cake I’d accounted for to have for dessert.
Doing some research into this recipe, I found a fair amount of variation. Traditionally, it involves cooking meat such as chicken/lamb/beef on a vertical spit for a hours, then serving it in a flatbread topped with some salad and sauce.
Unfortunately I don’t have a spit at home (that would be brilliant – apart from the fact that I already struggle to ensure we have at least one meat-free day a week. I’d have no chance with a spit full of juicy char-grilled meat available on tap) – so I cook my chicken on a cast iron griddle. If you don’t have one, then you can BBQ or grill the chicken.
The pita is brushed with a little oil and then baked in the oven for a few minutes – resulting in some delicious thin and crispy croutons.
The dressing is the same as the one I use for my chicken noodle salad.
Make sure you have a napkin to hand as that watercress does try it’s best to cover your face in leaves and salad dressing!
The Chicken Shawarma and Pita Salad Recipe:
- 8 chicken thigh fillets cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- Small Bag (100g) Watercress
- Handful of baby spinach
- 3 radishes sliced thinly
- 2 large pita breads
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp buttermilk
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro
- Juice of 1 small lime
- ½ of a red chilli finely chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 small garlic clove peeled and minced
- First marinate the Shawarma. Place the chopped chicken things in a large bowl and add the rest f the Shawarma ingredients. Mix together, then cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for an hour (or up to overnight).
- When you're ready to prepare the salad, preheat the oven to 200C/400f and place a cast iron griddle on the hob to heat up. Split the pita breads (so you have 4 thin breads) and brush both sides of your pita breads with the olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, then bake for 6-7 minutes until golden. Set aside until needed.
- Place the chicken pieces on the griddle and cook for 6-10 minutes - turning a couple of times until slightly charred on the outside cooked through in the middle.
- Whilst the chicken is cooking make your salad dressing by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
- Divide the watercress, spinach and radish slices between 4 plates. Cut or tear the pita breads into small pieces and place on top of each salad. Place the cooked chicken on top and drizzle on a little of the salad dressing.
- Serve with the remaining salad dressing.