Wraps are incredibly popular in all delis and cafes these days, with a myriad of different fillings, but the ones you make yourself will always be better, and dare I say it, healthier than the plastic wrapped torpedoes you see on the supermarket shelf.
With this wrap, you can go down the middle eastern route where the chicken is marinaded in spices and yoghurt, or the Mediterranean route using a classic Greek marinade of olive oil, oregano, mint, garlic etc.
The spicy version is called a Shawarma and the Greek version a Gyro. Each word in their language basically means the same thing - ‘turning’ or to ‘turn’.
Think of a cone of slowly turning lamb on a vertical spit at 11pm at night after you dive into the nearest Turkish takeaway after a long night out on the lash and you will get the idea of its origins.
A doner kebab with lots of chilli sauce, and piled into a pitta bread with salad was the perfect end to the evening.
But I wanted something healthier here with a bit of spice so plumped for a Chicken Shawarma using grilled chicken thighs.
INGREDIENTS serves 4-6
650g chicken thighs (boneless)
1 teaspoon each of tumeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper.
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
Zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of ½ lemon
4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt (10% fat) plus extra for flatbread
Good seasoning of salt and black pepper
4-6 flatbreads or pitta
Tomato, sliced red onion, gherkins and fresh coriander
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, and add the chicken.
Give the chicken a good massage with your hands to make sure the marinade permeates every crevice.
Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least an hour or so and even overnight if you have time.
Heat your oven to 200℃/180℃ fan and cook the chicken thighs for about 25-30 minutes, until charring slightly at the edges. Alternatively, grill the thighs, just make sure they are cooked through. When they have cooled enough to handle, cut them into rough strips on a chopping board.
Spread a spoonful of yoghurt over a flatbread and layer with some sliced tomato, then pile some chicken on top.
Add some thinly sliced red onion and gherkins and garnish with some fresh coriander and a few little dollops of yoghurt.
Wrap the flatbread up to enclose the filling, making sure the bottom is folded in.
While this is far from an authentic Shawarma, it does taste delicious and nourishing, and makes the perfect lunchtime treat.