Delicious Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Monday, April 16, 2018

I'm so happy I decided to give this recipe a shot. I love Mediterranean cuisine and will take any opportunity to switch things up with my healthy meals throughout the week. I went into this fully expecting for my chicken to only sort of taste like shawarma but this recipe is so fool proof that even the most unpracticed chef can make it happen. You can check out the original recipe HERE or follow along with me to get some extra tips. 


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 lg. breasts--I like to buy them as tenders since breasts are soo  ginormous these days. Freaks me out.)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (4 lg. thighs)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided (a little over a third of a cup)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • Salt and black pepper

  • I used a standard plastic spoon as my teaspoon because it's what I had *shrug emoji*

    Pro tip: take all caps and sifter lids off of your spices before you start to prep your marinade. I added all of the spices first and then stirred in the olive oil. Before marinading, cut each piece of chicken into three to six pieces depending on size. I like to purchase the chicken breast as tenders because it's already cut. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper as I would season chicken normally before adding the marinade. 

    This is about the point where I freaked out my first time making this. I tasted the marinade before adding the chicken and it wasn't like anything I was used to. Don't let the marinade on its own fool you. It will taste bitter and flat (even with salt) and you will think you missed something. Everything will be fine, I promise. Smell is a better indicator of whether things are going well. The first time around my chicken looked much darker (more brown than red) after the marinade. I used more chicken and more cayenne this time around so my chicken looked more like the OG recipe photos (reddish, hot wing color). I marinaded my chicken in a doubled up plastic bag from the grocery store (you can leave it in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap).  The first time I let the marinade sit for three hours but this time around I let it hang out for a full day in the fridge before cooking. Both ways taste equally delicious. 

    Place your marinaded chicken flat on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

    The original recipe calls for flipping the chicken half way through the roast but that's not how I get down (too lazy, duh!).

    Take the chicken out of the oven and let it cool slightly. With tongs and a sharp knife cut the chicken into smaller pieces.

    At this point the OG recipe calls for you to prepare a large skillet with olive oil to begin sautéing the chicken. But you'll find after roasting the chicken there's still fat and the remaining marinade oil on the sheet pan. So, instead, after cutting the chicken I return it to the pan and coat the meat with the leftover marinade.

    You'll notice the chicken is cooked enough to eat from roasting but you don't want to skip the sauté step as it browns the meat further, making the seasoning a nice crispy coating around the edges of the chicken. 

    Now, for the last step, sauté the chicken in two batches for about 5 minutes on medium high heat until the smallest pieces of chicken are browned. I sprinkled a little more salt on the meat in this step as well. And just like that you have six amazing dinner portions of chicken shawarma for the week. I like to eat mine with some ginger/turmeric rice, hummus, cucumber salad, pickled red cabbage and tzatziki. 

    Let me know if you try it! 

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