Leeds restaurants: Here's pro chef Natalie Firth's crowd-pleasing chicken shawarma recipe
Leeds chef Natalie Firth has shared one of her favourite recipes exclusively with Yorkshire Evening Post readers.
Natalie is the former executive chef at Matt Healy's Grön Kafé and owner of Just The Fox Kitchen, which delivers vibrant, healthy meals across Yorkshire.
Her chicken shawarma dish is bursting with flavour and is easy to cook at home, serving three to six people.
"This is one of my favourite recipes for when you have friends around," Natalie said.
"It’s a real crowd pleaser, full of flavour and simple to make. You can even get your guests involved letting them pick which fillings they would like."
For a vegetarian or vegan option you can marinade cauliflower florets instead of the chicken and swap the Greek yoghurt for soya yogurt .
For the chicken marinade:
- 600g boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets
- 1tsp ground turmeric
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4tbsp Greek yogurt
- olive oil
- sea salt flakes
- ground black pepper
To serve the shawarma:
- 6-8 round flatbreads
- 200g Greek yogurt
- 4 large tomatoes, sliced, then each slice cut in half
- 1 large red onion, halved and finely sliced into half-moons
- 1 small bunch (about 30g) of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli finely sliced.
- 1 lemon (to serve)
- gherkins or cucumbers in a jar (as many as you like), finely sliced.
Place the chicken thigh fillets in a bowl. Add the spices, garlic, lemon zest and juice, yogurt, a good drizzle of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and black pepper.
Using your hands, cover the chicken in the marinade, making sure it is mixed evenly.
Cover the bowl with cling film and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
Once the chicken is marinated:
Drizzle a little oil into a frying pan, over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, reduce the heat if the thighs begin to cook too quickly. Fry gently for 10-12 minutes on each side, or until the thighs have a nice, deep, golden brown crust and are cooked through.
When done, remove and cut the thighs widthways very thinly.
In the same pan as the chicken was in, add the flatbread. Cook on one minute on each side so they are warm all the way through.
Spread Greek yogurt on the warmed flatbread. Slice and add the tomatoes down the middle.
Add the shredded chicken over this, then follow with the sliced onion, coriander and a few slices of pickled cucumbers or gherkins, sliced chillies and a squeeze of lemon.
Fold up the bottom of the flatbread, then fold over the sides to enclose the filling as tightly as possible.