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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Chicken Shawarma Pizza

I'm not the type to go out to lunch too often.  I usually brown bag leftovers from the night before.  If I went out to lunch all the time, I would be broke and weigh 350 pounds.  But from time to time, the guys in the office go out for lunch when we need some time away from the rat race.  Occasionally, we head to this great Lebanese place close to work by the name of Aladdin's Eatery.  They serve a healthy, diverse menu that doesn't break the bank.  One of my favorites is the Chicken Shawarma Pita Wrap.  Marinaded grilled chicken, wrapped up in a pillowy fresh pita with tomatoes and greens.  I also add black olives, crumbled feta, onions, and a dab of their outstanding hummus.  It really is good stuff.

One night earlier this summer, I was in the mood for hummus, but we were having pizza for dinner.  I decided to get creative and see if I could turn this pita wrap into pizza form.

First, I took a boneless, skinless chicken breast and marinaded in a mixture of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, some kosher salt, and a teaspoon of Balti seasoning.


My mom turned me on to this seasoning with some spectacular pork tenderloins.  It is a mild curry type blend.  Not too hot and definitely not lacking in flavor.  After marinading the chicken for about an hour, I grilled the breasts until done.  After cooling, I cubed into bite sized chunks.

While the chicken was marinading, I whipped up a batch of hummus.  My hummus recipe is also from my mom.  I do not know where she came up with this recipe, but I would definitely put it up against any hummus served at a restaurant.  Here is the recipe:

Three Dogs BBQ Homemade Hummus

2, 16 oz cans of chickpeas
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup of tahini (ground sesame paste)
3 garlic cloves, minced fine
1 Tbsp of Olive Oil, plus more for when serving
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Dried Parsley for garnish
Fine diced red onion for garnish

Drain the water from the chickpeas and reserve.

Process the above ingredients along with enough of the reserved chickpea water to obtain a soft, creamy consistency.  Add salt as needed to taste.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil along with pita or tortilla chips.  I also add some dried parsley and diced red onion as well.

I couldn't pass up a little snack while I was waiting on the pizza dough to rise...


So, after Hope stretched out the pizza dough, I assembled the pizza.  I took the hummus that I had made and thinned it out a bit with some olive oil so that it could be spread across the dough.  Then I added in no particular order:

The grilled chicken breast
Thinly sliced Roma tomatoes
Thinly sliced red onion
Black olives
Crumbled feta cheese

Then, the pizza went into the hot pizza oven.  Since there was not a lot of cheese to look for the "brown and bubbly" mark of being ready, I kept an eye on the crust.  When it looked brown and crispy, I pulled the pie from the pizza oven.



I declare this experiment wildly successful.  I was worried about how the hummus would turn out after being exposed to high heat.  But, it did not separate and had a nice roasted flavor.  The next time I am craving some Middle Eastern flavor, I am making this pizza again.

Thanks for stopping by,

Bill

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