Thursday, February 2, 2017

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

THE GAME: Clippers vs Warriors

Right off the bat I want to tell you something: this isn't shawarma. Shawarma is meat that has been slowly roasted on a spit - usually a vertical spit - and continually basted in fat and its own juices. It is about as delicious as any meat you will ever eat.

But I don't have a vertical spit (well, I don't have one yet) so I made an imitation version. It was still delicious.


  • I chopped one breast and three thighs into small pieces and marinated them for several hours in a blend of olive oil and spices. 
  • I cooked the chicken in my cast iron pan, so it took about ten minutes instead of, you know, all day, like a traditional shawarma. 
  • Zankou Chicken's famous garlic sauce is my favorite, but all I had was this container from Whole Foods, which is still quite good. I slathered it all over the inside of the pita.
  • My favorite chicken shawarma sandwich I've ever had was from a place on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. They shaved off the chicken and served it in pita bread the size of a frisbee, with garlic sauce, pickles, lettuce, and a red cabbage salad. The whole thing cost five bucks, the best (and only) deal in the neighborhood in which I was living at the time.
  • I did not have lettuce or red cabbage tonight, and I considered going to the store to acquire them, but I just didn't have the motivation. (I mentioned before that I refrained from having a single sip of alcohol in January. Last night was February 1st, so I met up with some friends whom I had not seen since 2016 and drank my usual amount of beers. Let's just say it hit me hard and today was not a productive day.)

  • The Clippers haven't beaten the Warriors since 2014. The last time these two teams played was five days ago and the Warriors won by 46 points. Chris Paul won't be back for at least another month. But, even though the intensity of the "rivalry" isn't what it was three or four years ago, there's still always a chance to see something cool (or ugly) when these two teams play. 
  • I watched the 4th quarter of Atlanta-Houston while waiting for this game to start. Atlanta came back from being down 20 to win, while Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points in the 4th quarter alone. 
  • A decade ago, my friend Troy used to take me to one or two USC basketball games each season, and he would give me first pick of the games I wanted to attend. In the autumn of 2007, I selected the Oklahoma game because I was interested in seeing an OU freshman named Blake Griffin, who was drawing comparisons to Karl Malone. Troy sent me an annoyed email saying "USC just landed their biggest recruit ever [OJ Mayo] and you're talking about seeing some kid on Oklahoma? What's wrong with you?" Years later he sent me an apology and admitted I was right to be more interested in Blake than OJ. 
  • The Warriors opened the game with three straight steals, which is probably a sign of things to come. 
  • Commercial note: a few months ago I signed up for the free seven-day trial of Sling TV. I canceled it after 24 hours; it was the worst Roku app I have ever used. Great idea, terrible product. 
  • Klay Thompson missed a layup, got his own rebound, missed another layup, got his own rebound, and made the third layup attempt. Solid defensive rebounding effort, Clippers. 
  • The Warriors are only shooting 35% from 3, Steph is having a lousy shooting game, JJ Redick and Blake Griffin have been hot.. and the Clippers are still losing by 10 at the half. (Though that's still closer than I expected them to be.) 
  • Blake Griffin moved into the #2 spot as the Clippers all-time leading scorer with just over 9,400 points. Can you guess who #1 is? (I had no idea.) 
  • The answer is Randy Smith, with 12,735 points. For comparison, Kobe is the Lakers leading scorer with 33,643 points. Kwame Brown is in second place with 32,617 points. (Just kidding.)
  • Golden State looked better, scoring 39 points in the third quarter to go up 17. I'm not even going to watch the 4th quarter. 
  • I really don't understand what the Clippers' plan is with the nucleus of CP3/Blake/DeAndre. Yes, it's the most talented the organization has ever been, but they cannot beat the Warriors. How much longer are they going to keep trying before they make some changes? Or are they just going to let those three finish their careers in L.A., content to win 53-57 games each season and lose in the first or second round of the playoffs?

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