The Official Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Forum

This is what I fixed for lunch today. It's a delightful Summer lunch. Very low-carb and very satisfying. I couldn't even finish the whole thing!
Peggy, do you season your chicken with the Shawarma seasoning too? I've never eaten real Shawarma but I tried one of Rachael Ray's recipes for it and liked it. I can't say if the flavor is authentic though since I've never had the real deal. Here's my version of Rachael's recipe: Rachael's Chicken Shawarma

Does that look like it would taste anything like the real thing?
Well, traditionally, the meat and skin is layered on a long spike like grilling apparatus, like gyros is cooked on. They put seasoning in-between the layers of skin and meat. So yes, that improves it IMO. As the skin layers cook, they dribble down and baste the meat, keeping the meat moist. But if you get enough spice in the mayo or (traditional homemade yogurt sauce) they put in the wrap, I've found I can use any leftover chicken and get just about the same flavor.

Girl, if you're ever out west on Westheimer Blvd. in Houston, go have a REAL one at The Phoenicia Importers and Deli. The taste is to DIE for!! You might even enjoy browsing their big import shop behind the deli in the same parking lot. A truly amazing shopping experience if you like Middle Eastern foods. I've thought about taking the 3 hr. trip down to Houston JUST to go have one of these shawarma sandwiches!!!

A far as Rachel's recipe there, it looks about right. I'd ditch the bell peppers. Those are rarely put on shawarma wraps and will kill the subtle taste of the spices. Onion and tomato plus the yogurt sauce are classic trimmings. Every seasoning is different, but the one at he Phoenicia is the best I've ever had and my version of it is REAL close to theirs.
Peggy, if you ever do drive to Houston just to go to Phoenicia, please swing by here and pick me up! I really don't know much about Middle Eastern foods. I've tasted a few things in my life but very long ago. I had a friend in high school who's Mom was Lebanese and I tried a few things at her house. That was so long ago that I don't remember what they tasted like anymore. I do remember the flavor of something that was rolled up in grape leaves though.

I will definitely try your seasoning blend sometime. I like all of the spices in yours. Rachael's had some that I don't care for plus she added "grill seasoning" for some crazy reason. I remember that she used to put that stuff in practically everything she cooked!
That would be FUN, Linda! I'll sing out if I do! Hope you like that spice blend. I couldn't live without that one. I use it in so many things now. It's absolutely wonderful on my Roasted Summer Vegetables recipe:
Lovin' your recipes Peggy!
Why thank you, Trish! I love sharing them. Good food is meant to be shared. My Atkins on-line friends on the Atkins official forums talked me into setting up the blog and over two years later, it's truly taken on a life of fits own. Cooking is my hobby, now that I'm retired, and the website is a fun off-shoot of that hobby.
You're very welcome. It's great to have a hobby that you truly love that benefits so many others as well. I especially like finding LC friendly recipes for great sauces. I'm of the mindset that you can make any old hunk of meat taste excellent with the right sauce - LOL!
Yep, for sure you can. I suspect the saucier is the most important chef in a the professional kitchen.
I just whipped up a small batch of your Shawarma seasoning blend, Peggy. I'm planning to roast a chicken later and will try some of the seasoning on it when I eat it (not on the whole chicken). While getting out all of the spices to make it, I saw a jar of Turkish seasoning that I'd gotten as a free sample from Penzeys and forgot about. It smells a lot like your spice blend. Here are the ingredients in the Turkish seasoning:

salt, garlic, cumin, Tellicherry black pepper, Turkish oregano, sweet paprika, sumac, cayenne red pepper, and cilantro

I think I will do a taste test and have a little of each on my chicken. I'm not a big fan of oregano and I have no idea what sumac tastes like so I bet that I'll like your blend better.
I've seen that spice in my Penzey's catalog. I'm not familiar with Turkish oregano. If it tastes anything like Italian oregano, I don't think I'd like it in shawarma. But it may be a totally different taste for all I know. I do have sumac my Dad grew and gave me, but only use it in Iranian foods for the most part. Sumac is a taste I just can't describe. Really unusual and used throughout Iranian cooking. I'm not all that fond of it but just yesterday printed out a couple Iranian dishes I ran across on the net to try with it.

I'd add your spices directly to the chicken skin BEFORE roasting, Linda. Might even try to shove a wee bit up under the skin with some butter. It'll have a much greater impact that way for sure.
I didn't want to season the whole chicken with the Shawarma spice because other people would be eating it. My husband is sick right now and bland food is best for him at the moment. I did sprinkle a little of each seasoning on some chicken and compared them. They really did taste a lot alike. I really couldn't taste the oregano in the Turkish seasoning. The main difference was that the Turkish seasoning has salt in it. Last night I made up a batch of your Shawarma mayo and later today I'm going to try it with some of the chicken along with some tomato and onion. I don't have any lettuce on hand to make a wrap with. I'll just eat it with a fork.
I've eaten mine that way, too. LOL One of my fav late night snacks is leftover chicken or turkey just dipped into shawarma mayo with nothing else. Mmmm
Peggy, my Shawarma Chicken Salad was very good but I couldn't really taste the spices in the mayo. It didn't taste quite like plain mayonnaise but I think that the flavor of the mayo overpowered the spices. I used Kraft mayo instead of homemade. After lunch I mixed up another small batch of the mayo but tripled the seasoning. I'll see how that tastes tomorrow.

Commercial mayo sill definitely require more spice mixture. Since I never use commercial, I wouldn't have any idea how much more, double maybe?

Commercial mayo sill definitely require more spice mixture. Since I never use commercial, I wouldn't have any idea how much more, double maybe?
Well, I tripled the spices so we'll see how it tastes. Hopefully there will still be some chicken left for me to make another salad today for lunch. I made my first whole roasted chicken in my Nuwave oven on Tuesday and it came out so good that the family has been scarfing it down.
I've heard those NuWaves are nice. I used to have one of the big Showtime roaster ovens but didn't care for that one so much. Did chicken real nicely, "as advertised by Ron Popeil, but I didn't much like how it did rib roast, beef kebabs or pork. I sold it at my last garage sale, as I don't like storing small appliances I don't use OFTEN. We sized down when we retired and I don't have the cupboard space I once had.

I'll be honest with ya, Linda, I don't think you're ever going to get as good a result using commercial mayo for this sauce. The flavor is too dominant to mimic the extremely delicate yogurt sauce The Phoenicia uses on their shawarma. I use so few drops vinegar/lemon juice in MY homemade mayo, there almost is no flavor other than that little bit of onion in it coming through. Just a rich but somewhat bland creaminess the spice then begins to dominate.

I actually think you'd be happier putting the spice in actual Greek yogurt or your drained yo-cheese mixture. It will come MUCH closer to The Phoenicia's sauce than commercial mayo as a base ever will. I'm just personally not so fond of yogurt ever since living in Iran as a child and their yogurt being made from GOAT's milk. Almost can't even stand the smell of yogurt now due to that indelible olfactory memory.
I'm sure that I wouldn't like goat's milk yogurt either. I never even eat cow's milk yogurt plain so I doubt it I could choke down the goat kind. Yuck!

I'm not sure if I can get real Greek yogurt where I shop. They sell several brands of what claim to be Greek yogurt but they're all nonfat. That's about like having nonfat butter or nonfat heavy cream. It just doesn't make sense. The whole point of real Greek yogurt is that it's full fat, not thickened with gums and other rubbish to make it look like Greek yogurt. Of course I could save money and make my own using full fat Dannon and draining it to make Yocheese.
I just make my own draining right after I buy a big carton. I don't do plain yogurt either. That's why I tried the shawarma sauce with the homemade mayo to begin with, actually. When a curry calls for yogurt, I use my drained and usually only half as much as the recipe calls for. But I'm finding it must be the whey taste I don't like about yogurt, because I LOVE the drained I make, for dips, recipes and all kinds of stuff now. None of that sharp, acidic taste I don't care for. The whey must give it that taste. I might even try drained yogurt in my next chicken shawarma sandwich!
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