Chicken Shawarma Nachos

Chicken Shawarma Nachos
Tap any image to pin it.

Between struggling to potty train, getting everyone to sleep by eight pm, trying to enforce table manners and fighting to make nap time work, many times a parent’s primary goal is to find any hint of normalcy amidst the insanity. If something worked for nap time yesterday, they’ll definitely be trying that again today. So what if it involved some bribery or an extra thirty minutes of screen time? They need that two hours of peace and quiet!


We hope that with each bite, they’ll be reminded of their childhood.

Chicken Shawarma Nachos

Often, this creates the Groundhog Day Effect of Parenthood. Aiming not to break a cycle or disrupt a sleep schedule, parents find themselves repeating the same routine day after day. This is especially true when it comes to mealtime. Kids that shout for joy at the sight of a grilled cheese sandwich on a Tuesday will most likely be eating that sandwich on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday if it makes for a happy home.

Chicken Shawarma Nachos

As food enthusiasts and lovers of distant cultures, we refuse to settle for this. The Groundhog Day Effect shall not ruin the most sacred of places— the family table. We’re two mothers who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with exotic tastes and our combined five children will not get in the way of that.

We believe that though keeping everyone on a consistent schedule carries extreme value, dinner should be adventurous. It should be a time for kids and their parents to explore new flavors and learn new terms. “Shawarma” is a great example of these terms. Some countries refer to it as “gyro” and others as “doner kebab.” Originating in Turkey, it refers to a meat that has been marinated in mouth-watering spices and roasted all day on a spit. Can you imagine placing something this delicious in front of your three-year old and having them consume it without a fight? Yeah, we can’t either.

Chicken Shawarma Nachos

This is where experimentation is key. If you anticipate a disgusted look from your little one, try to fuse a foreign dish like this with the familiar. When it comes to Shawarma, we’ve found that it’s best to combine it with our kids all-time favorite, go-to— Nachos. Their eyes light up when they see something they’re akin to. Meanwhile, their taste buds receive some much-needed culture.

One day, we hope our kids will have the opportunity to travel the world and taste some of the spices we’ve introduced at the family table in the countries where they originated. We hope that with each bite, they’ll be reminded of their childhood. We also hope that eventually they’ll incorporate this same refusal to settle for routine and spirit of adventure into their family meals.

Chicken Shawarma Nachos

Chicken Shawarma Nachos

Serves 4

Ingredients

2lbs boneless skinless breasts
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt (split in half)
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup small white onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup parsley, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)
3/4 cup english cucumber, diced
1/2 cup peppadew pepper, roughly chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
corn chips
6-8 oz fresh feta cheese

Sesame Tahini Sauce

1/2 cup tahini
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, mince
8 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt

Method

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, paprika, cumin and 1/2 tsp of salt. In a flat dish pour the marinade over the chicken and spread around until the chicken is completely coated on all sides. Allow meat to marinade for at least four hours or covered overnight.
  2. Heat up grill and cook the chicken over medium-low heat until cooked through. Remove from heat and thinly slice, then set aside.
  3. While the chicken is marinating stir together roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, cucumber, peppadew, lemon juice and salt in a medium sized bowl. Adjust the salt to desired taste. Allow to rest for at least an hour so flavors can combine.
  4. For the tahini sauce, mix together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, water and salt with a whisk or fork, stirring until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
  5. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large cast iron skillet lay a single layer of chips, add chicken then a small handful of feta. Repeat the layering process until ingredients are used up. Move the skillet to the top rack of the oven and cook until the cheese turns golden, 10-15 minutes. Check frequently to make sure it doesn’t get burnt.
  6. While still hot, top with a generous scoop of mediterranean salsa and drizzle with the sesame tahini sauce. Garnish the nachos with the extra parsley and peppadews. Serve immediately.