Chicken Shawarma – Oven Roasted

June 6, 2015

in Cook What You Like, Little Bites, Main Dishes

Chicken Shawarma v1Chicken Shawarma slowly turning on a rotisserie fills the air with garlicky and spiced aromas.  You can sense the tender meat is packed with good tastes.

When you don’t have much time or want to bother with the hassle of dragging out the rotisserie equipment, this fast and easy version gives delicious results, albeit nothing is like the real thing.

Start with marinating the chicken thighs for at least an hour. While the chicken is soaking in the good stuff, get desired accompaniments ready – sliced tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, shredded lettuce,  pilaf,  flatbreads, a dipping sauce of yogurt with mayonnaise and minced garlic.  Then pop the chicken in the oven for 30-45 minutes. That’s it!

Chicken Shawarma roasted in the oven is delicious hot or at room temperature served as mezze or a main dish.  This recipe is so easy, you might find yourself making it often.

Recipe: Chicken Shawarma – Oven Roasted

For the juiciest chicken, roast with the skin on and let diners decide if they want to remove it.  Serve chicken with sliced tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, pilaf, flatbreads, and a yogurt dipping sauce.


  • 2 lemons
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-4 chicken thighs, boneless with skin
  • 1 large yellow, white or red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • flat-leaf parsley, chopped,  for garnish


  1. Marinate chicken:  into a large bowl, juice lemons; add 3 tablespoons oil.  Peel, smash and mince garlic and add to juice.  Mix spices into the same bowl: cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Add chicken and coat well.  Marinate for at least and hour and up to overnight, stirring occasionally.
  2. Roast chicken:  preheat oven to 425º F and position oven rack in the upper third of the oven.  Peel and cut onion and cut into quarters and then halve quarters crosswise.  Add to the marinating chicken and toss.  Drip 1 tablespoon oil onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour everything onto the sheet, spreading all out into a single layer, chicken skin side up.  Roast until chicken is done and skin is crisp, about 35-45 minutes.  Rest chicken 7-10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Makes 2-4 servings.

Adapted from the New York Times.

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