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Chicken Shawarma

COOK TIME
40 mins
PREP TIME
1 hr
SERVINGS
4-8
RATE THIS RECIPE
(124)
Ayesha Nurdjaja's Chicken Shawarma + Za'atar Fries + Whipped Feta & Pistachio
Ayesha Nurdjaja's Chicken Shawarma + Za'atar Fries + Whipped Feta & PistachioNathan Congleton / TODAY
COOK TIME
40 mins
PREP TIME
1 hr
SERVINGS
4-8
RATE THIS RECIPE
(124)

Ingredients

Chicken Shawarma
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked spicy paprika
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • pounds boneless chicken thighs, sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • pita bread and/or bibb lettuce, for serving
  • red cabbage, sliced, for serving
  • torn cilantro, parsley and mint, for serving
  • harissa sauce, for serving
White Sauce
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Chef notes

There's no need to order takeout to enjoy delicious chicken shawarma. It is so easy to make at home! With just a little advanced prep you can serve up this Middle Eastern classic in just a few minutes. This packs such a flavor punch, and the spice blend is so versatile.

Technique Tip: Brining the chicken gives you more breathing room to not have to worry about overcooking it. It can be marinated up to two days in advance, and can also be cooked up to two days in advance before using.

Swap Option: Use chicken breasts instead of thighs. You can also use cauliflower in place of the chicken for a vegetarian or vegan take on shawarma.

Preparation

For the chicken:

1.

In a large bowl, whisk the garlic paste, 1/2 cup of the oil, salt, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, paprika and lemon juice until well combined.

2.

Add the chicken and onions and toss, massaging the marinade into the chicken, until well combined.

3.

Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably for 48 hours.

4.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 F, line 2 half sheet pans with aluminum foil and drizzle each evenly with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

5.

Scatter the chicken and onions evenly over the prepared sheet pans, being sure to not overcrowd the pans, and roast until the chicken is cooked through and crispy around the edges, for 30 to 40 minutes.

For the white sauce:

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk all ingredients until well combined. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To serve:

To serve, cut 1/4 off the top of the pita.

Fill with the chicken, slather with White Sauce and top with cabbage, torn herbs and harissa; serve immediately.