Are you bored with using chicken breasts only for meal prep? Do they get dry every time you heat them up again?
I personally love breast the most, but when it comes to meal prep nowadays, I prefer mixing them with thighs. Thighs don’t get that dry when you warm them up again the next day, and similarly to breasts, they are pretty high in their protein content (with NO skin on!) For example 100g chicken breast has about 165 calories and 30g protein, while 100g chicken thigh includes about 209 calories and 26g protein. Hence the reason I often like them mixed in wraps and salads. I also prefer to cut the meat into larger bite sizes so they preserve a bit more moisture and get dry less when reheating them.
They key for this delicious chicken shawarma is to marinate the meat for at least a few hours (or preferable overnight) before cooking, in order to allow the spices and flavours to penetrate the meat! You can easily buy all the ingredients in most Malaysian shops and supermarkets and feel free to experiment with the amount of spices you use. As a Hungarian I always add a bit of extra from the paprika for example. I only didn’t manage to buy ground cloves in my local supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur, but that was not a problem as you can easily pound 4-6 cloves in a mortar with a pestle to get 1/2 tsp of ground cloves! Otherwise because I’m always in a hurry I usually just grab my half table spoon and half teaspoon measuring spoons and throw all the dry spices together in a small container and mix them, before using the spice mixture to rub the meat. In this case I can make sure that the spices are equally distributed when I rub the meat.
Although many shawarma recipes call for onion and garlic powder, I never use these. I like taking shortcuts but I never compromise with these two and I always use fresh onions and garlic instead! If you don’t have cayenne pepper at home you can use chilli powder instead! I recently received some great quality chilli powder from Sri Lanka from one of my clients and I absolutely love it with this shawarma recipe!
I highly recommend grilling the chicken in a cast iron grill pan! Since the meat is already marinated in oil, this way you save oil and calories, plus the chicken and onions will have a very nice smokey, slightly burnt flavour! If you don’t have a cast iron grill pan you can use a normal pan but you can also just throw the meat into a preheated oven at 180 degrees and cook it there for about 8-10 minutes or until done!
Ditch the wrap to make it gluten free, keto or paleo friendly, and to save money and calories!
You can also eat them with salad only, or make a wrap out of eggs! Add some fresh avocado and you have an exciting low carb dish!
So let’s check what we need to make this simple grilled chicken shawarma in wholegrain wrap!
4-6 skinless, boneless chicken thigh / chicken chop / breast, cut into large bitesize.
1 Onion thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
A bag of triple mixed local mixed salad from Genting Highland
Wholegrain wraps like Roti Roll-up Wraps from Gardenia
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
1/2 tbsp cumin powder
1/2 tbsp Hungarian style paprika
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (or 4-6 cloves pounded into powder)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli (add more if you prefer spicy)
As a sauce you can use a tahini dressing but you can even use up the leftover chilled cucumber and Greek yogurt soup! Both are superb matching flavours!
we prefer to buy the dry ingredients in bulk, so we always have plenty left for later use.
(If your pantry is completely empty!!)
Lacto Plus 3 chicken chop, 1kg - RM 21.90
Ground cumin, Baba’s brand, 70g - RM 2.40
Turmeric powder, Baba’s, 25g - RM 1.0
Coriander powder, Baba’s, 125g - RM 3.50
Cayenne Pepper, McCormick, 30g - RM 11.90
Garlic, fresh, 0.5kg - RM 4.80
Yellow onion, 1kg - RM 4.90
Lemon, fresh, 1 piece - RM 1.90
Extra virgin olive oil cold pressed, Pendleton, 750ml - RM 56.90
Genting Garden Four Season Mixed Salad, 1 bag - RM 10.60
Roll-Up wraps, Gardenia, 5 pieces - RM 4.90
SUM: RM 124
Cost broken down on the ingredients' level:
Lacto Plus 3 chicken chop / breast, 1kg ≈ RM 21.90
Ground cumin, Baba’s brand, 2g ≈ RM 0.07
Turmeric powder, Baba’s, 2g ≈ RM 0.08
Coriander powder, Baba’s, 2g ≈ RM 0.06
Cayenne Pepper, McCormick, 1g ≈ RM0.40
Garlic, fresh, 4 cloves - RM 0.15
Yellow onion, 1 medium ~ 170g ≈ RM 0.80
Lemon, fresh, 1 piece ≈ RM1.90
Extra virgin olive oil cold pressed, Pendleton, ≈ 32.5ml ≈ RM 2.50
Genting Garden Four Season Mixed Salad, 1 bag ≈ 10.60
Roll-Up wraps, Gardenia, 5 pieces - RM 4.90
Cost for 5 portions ≈ RM 43 Cost per portion ≈ RM 8.60
Without the wholemeal wrap ≈RM 38 / RM 7.60 per portion