Crockpot Chicken Shawarma

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I'm a huge fan of shawarma. I first had it as a college student at a local Mediterranean restaurant and have been obsessed ever since. Traditionally, shawarma is layers of meat, including lamb, turkey, chicken, beef or veal placed on a spit with onions, tomatoes, or halved lemons at the top of the stack for additional flavoring. The stack is grilled for as long as possible over a wood or gas fire. The meat is then shaved off the spit for a variety of dishes, usually sandwiches. Who has the time or equipment for that? When I stumbled across a take on slow cooker shawarma on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. I changed the original only slightly. The flavors are smoky and delicious. This recipe makes a ton of food. I would say it serves 8 easily.

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Serves: 8-10 (especially if you use 4 chicken breasts) Time: 4-5 hours in slow cooker, 15-20 minutes on stove to reduce liquid

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breasts 2 tbsp Shawarma Seasoning (I use Ziyad, which I found at Meijer). You could use a small amount of sumac instead, like 2 teaspoons 1 tsp each salt and pepper 1/2 tsp turmeric 1 1/2 Tbsp cumin 3 cloves garlic chopped finely 1 tsp coriander 1/2 tsp cardamom (I did not have ground so I used a few of the seeds) 1/2 tsp chili pepper or more you like heat (I used 1/2 tsp and it wasn't spicy at all). juice of 1 lemon 1 Tbsp vegetable oil water

Directions:

  1. Trim chicken breasts of any excess fat.  Place in a bowl and add the shawarma, salt and pepper, turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, cardamom and chili pepper (if you're using it). I usually sprinkle each ingredient around on top of the chicken and then make sure I coat the chicken fully in as much of the spices as possible.
  2.  In the bottom of your slow cooker add the vegetable oil, and garlic, then add the chicken.
  3. Pour the lemon juice on top and add enough water to almost cover the chicken. Don't worry about pouring too much, you'll cook it out later, in step 5. I mean, don't go crazy.
  4.  Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is falling apart. Shred the chicken with forks, and keep on warm until just before serving
  5. A few minutes before eating, transfer the chicken and liquid to a large pan.
  6. Heat on high until the liquid reduces. You want all of the liquid to cook out.

Once the chicken is completely ready, serve it in Pita pockets with cucumber dill sauce.

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Oh, you need a recipe for cucumber dill sauce? I just happen to have one of those.

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Serves: 8-10 Prep time: 5-10 minutes Chill time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
2 cups homemade yogurt or Greek yogurt
1 large or 2 medium cucumbers, chopped (I like a crunch with my shawarma so I chopped my cucumbers rather than dicing them).
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (Sometimes I leave this out because there's garlic in the shawarma, so you can decide how you feel about it).
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of half a lemon 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
salt
Directions:
Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.
This is one of my new favorite recipes. It's super easy and incredibly tasty.