Recipe: Middle Eastern chicken wrap

Rachel Walker 30 November -0001

Since Ottolenghi opened his first deli 15 years ago, the craze for Middle Eastern food has shown no sign of subsiding.

The best part of the Middle Eastern craze is that we’ve only scratched the surface with our new-found love for houmous and pomegranate. There’s still so much to discover. One of my recent finds is “zhoug”—a Yemeni sauce made from fresh herbs and chillies. It’s starting to crop up in supermarkets here, but it’s so easy to make your own.



  • 600g (boneless) chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp hot smoked paprika

For the zhoug

  • 100g parsley
  • 100g coriander
  • 3 chillies, deseeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 1tbsp vinegar
  • Salt, to taste

For the quick pickle

  • 120ml vinegar
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

To serve

  • flatbread or pitas
  • fresh herbs to garnish


  1. Cut each chicken thigh into 4–6 pieces.
  2. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, ground cumin and paprika. Toss the chicken thigh in the marinade, until coated. Refrigerate for 40 minutes.
  3. Make the quick pickle by heating the vinegar and stirring in the sugar until it dissolves. Cut the cucumber in half, lengthways—scoop out the wet, seedy centre—then slice as thinly as possible. Put the slivers of cucumber and red onion in a jam jar. Pour in the pickling vinegar. Put on the lid, shake and leave for 25 minutes.
  4. To make the zhoug, wash the still-tied bunches of fresh herbs. Shake to dry, and then cut the herbs just above the point that they’re tied. Put them in a blender—along with the chillies, garlic, lemon, oil and vinegar—and then blitz.
  5. Grill or barbecue the chicken for 10–12 minutes, turning halfway through. Let people assemble their own wraps with the quick pickle, zhoug and chicken.



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