This dish gets its name from the way it’s traditionally cooked. The Arabic word “shawarma” comes from a Turkish word that means “turning”. For shawarma, meat is placed on a spit and grilled, sometimes for over a day. In this recipe, we’re using chicken thighs and browning it with our house shawarma blend
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Quarter the lemon and remove the seeds. Small dice the cucumber. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Thinly slice the lettuce.
Make the tzatziki: In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, lemon zest, dill, cucumber, half of the garlic paste (save the rest for the vegetables), and the juice of 2 lemons wedges. Season with salt and pepper and cover. Place in the refrigerator while you finish cooking.
Cook the chicken: Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with salt on both sides, then thinly slice into small bite-sized pieces.
In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, or until mostly cooked through. Add the onion, Shawarma spice blend, and remaining garlic to the pan of the chicken. (If the pan is dry, add another teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through and the vegetables are softened.
Using tongs, place the pitas directly on the oven rack and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, or until warmed and toasted. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, cut each pita in half (into half circles). To plate your dish, spread ¼ of the hummus inside each pita half and fill with the chicken-vegetable mixture and lettuce. Spoon some of the tzatziki sauce into each pita. Garnish with the remaining lemon wedges.