I barely got any of this Chicken Shawarma because the husband snuck into the fridge to eat it after I’d gone to bed.
It was an unforgivable offense because this chicken is freakin’ delicious.
Here’s a random story about Shawarma:
We were in San Diego last summer for a friend’s wedding and ended up going to this bar that offered $1 drinks. So, not only were we out of town (mistake number one) for a wedding (mistake number two) with some of our closest friends (mistake number three), but we went out the night before the wedding to a bar that offered $1 drinks (mistakes number four and five).
Being the frugal person that I am, it was my responsibility to take advantage of such a fabulous sale on booze and inhibitions, so I joined my friends in imbibing a bit too much that night.
stumble walk back to the hotel, I smelled Chicken Shawarma and hauled the husband into this little hole-in-the-wall spot to get a taste. I can confidently say that had I not been wise enough to eat before I went to bed, I would have been pretty useless the next day at the wedding. That Shawarma was awesome.
And so is this one.
I really though that the flavors of authentic Shawarma would be difficult to duplicate without one of those rotating-roasting-turny things, but I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this is and how easy it was to make it.
You’re just cutting up some chicken, marinating it either overnight or while you’re at work all day, then popping it in the oven for 15 minutes before finishing it in a frying pan with extra oil and spices. Don’t skip the last step of sauteing it in a frying pan, it totally makes the dish!
We ate this with pita bread and Tabbouleh salad, which was totally wonderful. Throw a little tzatziki sauce or hummus in there with it and you’ll be made in the shade.
Follow it up with a piece of Arabic Date and Honey Cake to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Not counting the time it takes to marinade, you can totally have this done in under 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight meal!
Dust off your spice jars and get ready for the awesome.
- For the Marinade
- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 large breasts)
- 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- To Finish
- 6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- Pour the 1/4 cup of olive oil into a large plastic zipper bag. Add in the marinade spices, then seal the bag and shake to combine.
- Cut the chicken breasts into sixths, then place the pieces into large plastic zipper bag. Seal the bag and use your hands to work the marinade into the chicken. Place the bag of chicken into the fridge to marinate 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the chicken pieces evenly on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 8 minutes, flip the chicken pieces over, then bake for another 8 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let sit until cool enough to touch. Slice the chicken into thin pieces using a sharp knife.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- While it is heating, mix the remaining spices together in a small bowl and set it near the stove.
- Once the oil is hot, add one third of the cooked chicken into the pan along with one third of the spices next to the stove. Cook, stirring, until the spices are spread amongst the meat and the chicken is heated through (just a minute or two).
- Repeat this process with the remaining oil, chicken, and spices so that it is cooked in three batches (or, if you have a really, really big pan you could do it all at once). Serve warm with Tabbouleh salad and pita bread.