Chicken Shawarma is one of my favorite things to get from a Middle Eastern restaurant near our house. We do not go there often, but when we do, Jason always gets the beef kifta pita, and I always get the chicken shawarma pita. Then we come home and brush our teeth or use mouth wash because of the constant lingering of garlic and spices that happens after we eat Middle Eastern food. The breath is worth the taste.
This version of chicken shawarma is oven roasted; it may not be on one of those vertical rotisseries, but it still has all of the same flavors and juiciness that the Middle Eastern restaurant can offer.
When we make chicken shawarma at home, I like to make mine into a sampler plate. I put cucumber salad, hummus, and the chicken on a plate with the tahini sauce over the chicken and have a pita on the side. I just think its easier to eat, and I enjoy grazing over each section. I have not perfected cutting open a pita with a perfect pocket to fill with ingredients, so I stick with my sampler plater plate. Sometimes I put a layer of hummus, cucumber salad, chicken and tahini sauce on top and fold it up like a taco like the photo below.
Eat it whatever way works for you. Just as a fair warning: be sure to have some mints ready to pop after this flavorful meal.
- 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 lemons, juiced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- Serve with:
- Tahini Sauce-link above
- Cucumber tomato salad- link above
- Marinate for chicken: In a 13 by 9 inch dish combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Stir together until well combined. Add the chicken breasts, and onion, toss everything to coat. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 5 hours.
- Cook: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading everything evenly across it.
- Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperatures reaches 165 degrees. Remove from the oven, allow to rest for a few minutes, then shred or slice into bits. Serve with warm pitas, hummus, cucumber tomato salad, tahini sauce, garlic sauce, or feta.