Chickity China the Chinese chicken. We’re going to see a Barenaked Ladies concert at the end of the month. Yes, Barenaked Ladies. Tas knows almost every word to all the songs on the Gordon album. It’s also an outdoor concert and I haven’t been to one of those since I saw Dave Matthews Band in Albany in the Summer of ’06. It’s time.
So I’ve made here, not a chickity China the Chinese chicken, but a chicken shawarma sandwich with harissa mayo. The thinner you cut the chicken breast, the more awesome this sandwich is. To do so, partially freeze the chicken breast and slice it with a super sharp knife. You can get real thin pieces that way. You will also want to TON on the shawarma spice. Don’t be stingy! For the harissa mayo, I recommend Kewpie mayo (Japanese mayo). It’s so much richer and tastier than Hellman’s or Dukes. Plus it has a cute little doll figure on it to creep you out. Israeli or Middle Eastern pickles are the best for this. They’re normally brined in garlic and dill and HERE is my favorite brand.
CHICKEN SHAWARMA SANDWICH
WITH HARISSA MAYO
MAKES 4 SANDWICHES
SHAWARMA SPICE MIX:
1 ½ tbsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 ½ tsp coriander
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp hot paprika
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 cup Kewpie mayo (or regular mayo)
1 ½ -2 tbsp harissa, store bought is fine
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
oil for frying
8 slices toasted whole wheat or seeded bread
Isreali or Middle Eastern pickles, sliced
picked cilantro leaves
FOR THE SPICE MIX: Combine all spices in a small bowl. Set aside
FOR THE HARISSA MAYO: In a small bowl, combine the mayo and harissa. Cover and set in the fridge until ready to use.
FOR THE CHICKEN & FINISHING THE SANDWICHES: Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan or plate so they lay flat. Place them in the freezer for 2 to 2 ½ hours until partially frozen but not solid. With a sharp knife, slice each breast into 3 to 4 thin pieces lengthwise with the knife parallel to the cutting board (as if you are butterflying the breast but keep slicing through).
Season the chicken on each side with lots of shawarma spice mix and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet or fry pan with a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Sear the chicken for 1-2 minutes per side until cooked through. Do this in batches if the skillet is not big enough to fit all the chicken.
Spread a generous amount of harissa mayo on each side of the toasted slices of bread, lay the chicken on top along with the sliced pickles and picked cilantro. Enjoy!