chicken shawarma – sort of

A friend of ours gave us a giant wood board… a cutting board, a butcher block, a serving board.

But a giant: its almost 2 feet across and 2 1/2 feet long. More than an inch thick. With a heavy,  sturdy leather handle.

As soon as we brought it home I started thinking about how to use it: What could I cut and serve on it? It calls out for big things: a mound of grilled shrimp alongside lettuce cups and toppings, polenta with saucy vegetables, large pizzas. Yes, plural. This board easily holds two sheet pan pizzas. (Though only one is shown in the photo here.)

pizza (on the board)

It really suits a cheese board spread, with some fruit, nuts and honey. Or a charcuterie selection alongside olives and tiny pickles. A family-style antipasto would be great, too.

But next was a chicken shawarma dinner – sort of.

chicken shawarma with pita

I marinated boneless thighs and sliced breasts for the day; all were cut in half so there was more surface area to collect the flavours of the homemade shawarma spice mix. The bad news is I haven’t a vertical spit, nor a rotisserie, so I had to use the ordinary gas grill. Not a true shawarma, I guess.

While the grilling happened, someone wrote out the dinner menu:

dinner menu

So I grilled the pieces until they were cooked through and a little crispy in some places and piled them all on the board before working my way through with a knife, cutting each piece into small slices. Then I drizzled a little olive oil over the top, added a couple pinches of the dry spice mix and scattered some fresh chopped parsley.

chicken shawarma

Alongside pita, of course, and a taboule salad I prepared earlier in the afternoon, dinner was coming together. We also had roasted potatoes and cauliflower, and a crispy salad of iceberg lettuce and fresh veggies.

Tahini was missed, but by the time I realized it was too late to pop into the kitchen to mix something and, strangely, I was out of lemons which I consider essential when I make a quick tahini for dressings or sandwiches.

chicken shawarma

Chicken shawarma: not from a rotisserie of any kind, but still a nice dinner on the new board.

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