In Israel (where I grew up), Shawarma is prepared by stacking different meats, fats and spices on a stick and roasting them slowly on a rotisserie. The meat is shaved and eaten as fast food with pita bread, salad and other yummy stuff such as tahini. This is a quick homemade version of Shawarma made with chicken breast, which is less fatty then the traditional Shawarma. The classic sides for this meal are tahini and Israeli salad.
I have small kids, who can be particular about what they like on their dinner plate and what they don’t. I separate all the parts of the dinner and let the kids choose what they want from the three essential groups: vegetables, protein and carbs. With this dinner usually I make the chicken together with the onion and mushrooms, but I explain here how prepare each part separately for fussy kids. If I made it just for adults, I’d use more spicy seasoning.
2 cups of brown rice
4 cups of boiled water
2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of Old Bay spice mix (or a blend of paprika, onion powder, turmeric and cumin)
1 lemon (optional)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 big onion, cut small
1 pound of mushrooms, cut to quarters
Salt and pepper
First, soak rice in water for 20 minutes
Put the chicken in a bowl, with baking soda, spices and olive oil and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. You can do it the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Drain the rice and in a small pot heat up olive oil for a few seconds, add the rice and mix with a wooden spoon. Add boiled water and salt and cook the rice on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
In a big pan, heat olive oil, add the onion and steam for 5 minutes on medium heat, mixing once in a while. Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, salt and pepper to your liking. Keep steaming on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a medium pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the seasoned chicken and fry on medium heat for about 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes add lemon juice over it and stir.
Taste everything and add salt and pepper to your liking. If you like spicy food, add some cayenne pepper or spicy chili pepper to the chicken.
Whether you mix everything together or serve separately, it is a delicious dinner that the whole family will enjoy. Serve it on a plate or for a more fun dinner, put the Shawarma in pita bread, with the mushrooms, Israeli salad and tahini.