Chicken Pastrami

Chicken Pastrami

For this pastrami recipe you'll get the best result if you use chicken or turkey breast, because pork is not as tender but, if there's no other option, you can use pork loin or fillet.

I like to serve it for breakfast or as starter, to mix it in various salads but, mostly, I like to keep it in the freezer in case of any unpredictable food related situations. It's the same when defrosted, maybe slightly more crumbly. It's ideal for someone who is on a diet or has a healthy life style and wants to avoid store-bought salami and ham. After you try this recipe, I can assure you from now on, you will only want to eat chicken pastrami sandwiches in the morning.

Let me tell you a little secret from our family menu - we most often have chicken pastrami sandwiches with plenty of hummus for breakfast.


Chicken breast
1 kg
you can use 2 kilos as well, you can replace it with turkey breast
1 l
2 tbsp
1 tbsp
Vegetable oil
50 ml
0.25 tsp
1 tsp
Garlic powder
1 tsp
or freshly crushed
Whole black pepper
1 tsp
Laurel leaves
2 pieces

Step by step

Step 1

If you are using whole chicken breast, remove the bones, clean it and cut it in halves. 

If you are using halves, wash and clean them. I usually trim the chicken breast, making sure there is no bone left at all. Also, I take out the smallest and most tender part from the sides of the breast and I use it for cooking something else. 

The whole point is to have big even pieces. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 1
Step 2

In a deep bowl, preferably with a lid, or in a saucepan, we prepare the brine: 

-fill it with water and add salt, sugar, pepper grains and bay leaves; 

-stir well until salt and sugar dissolve.


Chicken Pastrami - Step 2
Step 3

We soak all the meat in the brine. 

One litre of brine is usually enough for 1-2 kilos of meat, I prefer to cook more at once, so that I can keep it in the freezer. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 3
Step 4

Cover with the lid and leave in the fridge to macerate for 12-24 hours, the longer the better.  

If you leave it for 12 hours, it might be a bit crumbly and not so easy to cut. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 4
Step 5

After this while, take out the meat. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 5
Step 6

Wash thoroughly and leave it in a sieve for the water to drain. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 6
Step 7

Meanwhile, we quickly mix in oil, ground pepper, paprika and garlic. 

You can add any other spices you like.

Chicken Pastrami - Step 7
Step 8

Place the chicken breasts in a deep oven tray (do not grease it). 

Brush the bottom part of the breasts with the oil mixture.

Chicken Pastrami - Step 8
Step 9

Then flip them, the smoother part face up and brush with the mixture.

Chicken Pastrami - Step 9
Step 10

Cover the tray with a lid or wrap it in aluminium foil and put in the pre-heated oven to 200 degrees C for 1 hour. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 10
Step 11

After this time, remove the tray from the oven and, still covered, let it cool completely. 

We also like to eat it while warm as such, the meat is very soft and tender if cooked this way. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 11
Step 12

When it's cold, it's very quick and easy to slice with a sharp knife. 

Chicken Pastrami - Step 12
Step 13

And my favourite part - freezing the pastrami. 

I usually cook a bigger amount, I keep 1-2 pieces in the fridge which last for a few days and I freeze the rest, each piece covered in plastic wrap. 

When we are in the need or in the mood for it, I just take it out 2-3 hours before and I am a happy cook :) 


Chicken Pastrami - Step 13
Step 14

It's just the perfect match for anything - sandwiches, salads (especially Caesar Salad), or just as such, as a chicken steak. 


Chicken Pastrami - Step 14
Quantity: 1 kg
Prep time: 1 min
Difficulty: easy
Ready in: 20 min
Publish date:

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