Chicken Shawarma, Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash, Lemony Swiss Chard with Fried Olives, Capers & Garlic

Chicken Shawarma:

This recipe is based on May Bsisu’s recipe from her cookbook The Arab Table. I’ve done my best to pare this recipe down for two versus the ten servings it was originally written for. I also grill is, instead of cooking it in the oven and skip the twenty cloves of garlic sauce that it is supposed to be served with.

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp white vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp white pepper
A pinch grated nutmeg
A pinch ground clove
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 pebble-size piece of mastic, crushed
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and cut into 2 by ½-inch pieces

Make a marinade by combining the lemon juice with the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, salt, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, and mastic in a shallow baking dish. Place the chicken in the marinade and toss the pieces to coat them all over. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.

Preheat grill to 400°F.

Using your hands, squeeze the chicken pieces dry of the marinade-it is important to rid them of as much liquid as possible. Put the meat on skewers and grill for 3 minutes. Flip the skewers over, and grill for another 3 minutes.

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash:

This is one of my favorite dishes from Toro Bravo that I have been trying to decipher. The recipe turned up in a recent issue of Portland Monthly, that you can find here. The version they serve at the restaurant usually is garnished with mint, but there’s mention of it in the recipe…

Lemony Swiss Chard with Fried Olives, Capers & Garlic:

This is one of my regular recipes that I’ve cooked before. You can find the recipe here.

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I decided to go with a bottle of the Saison Du Blodgett from Upright Brewing.

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