Chicken Shawarma Tacos with Cucumber and Heirloom Tomato Pico De Gallo:
The Great Spice Experiment: Lately, I’ve been into experimenting with spices that I don’t use on a regular basis. I’m trying to get out of my “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” rut. Did you sing that as you read it? Any Simon and Garfunkel fans in the house?
Anyway, Back to to the spice experiment. The other day, I came across some yummy marinated chicken shawarma in the fresh meats section at Trader Joe’s. This inspired me to create my own recipe for this flavorful dish.
I didn’t have all of the spices that I needed on hand, and realized it would be quite an investment to buy a jar of each, so I decided to purchase a couple tablespoons of each in the bulk spice section at New Seasons (Local, natural foods store).
What a great way to try new things without a huge investment! Why didn’t I think of this before?
After playing around with different spice combinations, I think I found “The one”. This chicken came out so flavorful, tender and juicy!
Instead of serving the chicken in the traditional flatbread with hummus and yogurt, I thought it would be fun to serve it in taco form. And because I love tacos!
I made a fresh and cool cucumber, mint and heirloom cherry tomato pico de gallo to compliment the spice laden chicken. Yum!
Add a sprinkle of Feta cheese and a drizzle of tangy yogurt sauce to take it over the top!
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground corriander
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper more if you like it hot
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
- 3 tablespoons of spice mix above (reserve the rest of later use)
- 1 cup diced persian or english cucumber seedless cucumber
- 1 cup diced heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste
In a bowl mix all pico de gallo ingredients until well combined. Serve on Chicken Shawarma tacos.
Suggested Additional toppings:
- Crumbled Feta Cheese
- Yogurt Sauce, such as tzatziki
- Sauteed or grilled onions and/or peppers
- Chopped olives
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Shredded Lettuce or cabbage