Hummus with Fresh Herbs, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Seven-Spice Chicken

This is something I made for an employee meal today. It is really, really delicious (I ate so much I wished I had a bed to take a nap afterwards) and of course really simple to make. It is basically a hummus recipe layered (loaded, actually) with all sorts of good things. But the prize, or the topper, is the seven-spice chicken. Seven Spice blend is a common Lebanese spice mix and there are as many versions of this as there are people who make it. The Arabic word for this blend is baharat, which simply means spices. In addition to the hummus and chicken, I also layered in raw, thinly sliced red onion, sun-dried tomatoes (I would use fresh in the summer months), and whole leaves of both flat-leaf parsley and cilantro (fresh coriander). And just before serving I drizzled the entire platter with a liberal amount of extra virgin olive oil (yum!). I hope you try this'll be glad you did.

Hummus bil Tahina
Makes about 3-1/2 cups
3 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned and rinsed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup tahini
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Shawarma Chicken with Seven Spices
Serves 6

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 tablespoons seven spice blend
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
olive oil for sautéing

Trim the chicken of any fat and slice it very thin. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and add the seven spice blend, 4 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, salt, hot pepper, and salt. Mix everything together to coat the chicken evenly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least an hour. Heat additional olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the chicken and cook it until moisture has evaporated, it is thoroughly cooked, and it is slightly browned. 

Lebanese Seven Spice Mix
Makes about 4 tablespoons

1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix the spices together and store in an airtight container, or use as needed.