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Shawarma Recipe

Shawarma Recipe

Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish that typically consists of meat marinated with a blend of spices, then roasted on a spit and sliced thin for serving. While the traditional method requires a rotisserie, I'll share a recipe that can be made at home using an oven or grill. This recipe will focus on chicken shawarma, a common variant.

Ingredients

For the Shawarma Marinade

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For Serving

  • Pita bread or flatbreads
  • Chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers
  • Sliced onions
  • Tzatziki sauce or a simple yogurt sauce
  • Tahini sauce (optional)
  • Pickles or pickled vegetables (optional)

Instructions

  1. Marinate the Chicken:

    • In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (if using), lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
    • Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and ensure each piece is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight for better flavor.
  2. Cook the Chicken:

    • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) or prepare your grill for medium-high heat.
    • If using an oven, place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a lightly greased rack.
    • Cook for 30 to 40 minutes in the oven, or until the chicken is cooked through and has a nice outer crust. On a grill, cook the chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.
  3. Slice the Chicken:

    • Let the cooked chicken rest for a few minutes. Then, slice it into thin strips.
  4. Assemble the Shawarma:

    • Warm the pita or flatbreads.
    • Spread tzatziki sauce or a simple yogurt sauce on the bread.
    • Add the sliced chicken and top with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sliced onions.
    • Drizzle with tahini sauce if desired and add pickles or pickled vegetables.
    • Roll up the bread to enclose the fillings, or serve it open-faced as desired.
  5. Serve:

    • Serve the shawarma rolls with additional tzatziki or tahini sauce on the side for dipping.

Enjoy your homemade chicken shawarma! Remember, the key to great shawarma is in the marinade and getting a good char on the meat, whether in the oven or on the grill.

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