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Chicken Shawarma

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Serves | Prep Time 24 hours | Cook Time

Why I Love This Recipe

Tony Stark once said “Have you ever had shawarma? There’s a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don’t know what it is but I wanna try it”. And with that line, this is how I convinced my wife to try shawarma. Shawarma comes in many forms, but my favorite would be chicken. Which is very odd, because given the choice between chicken, beef, or pork – chicken usually comes in dead last for me.

Unfortunately, this works best with a vertical rotisserie. I know Alton Brown has a way to kitbash together an alternative using a drill and some imagination – so if that is more your thing instead of buying one, you could look up the Good Eats episode where he does that. For me, however, I use it enough for this and other things that I just bought one.

--Mike L.

--Milwaukee, WI

Ingredients You'll Need

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion (optional)

1c Greek Yogurt
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp grated or powdered Coriander
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
Juice from 1 lemon
6oz tomato paste
¼ tsp cinnamon

Yogurt Sauce:
1c greek yogurt
2 tsp cumin
pinch of salt and pepper
juice of ½ lemon.


Combine all marinade ingredients together.

Take the thighs and pound them until they are thin. Maybe ¼ - ½ inch thick.

Put all thighs into marinade and place into fridge overnight and up to one day. If there is excess fat, do not worry about trimming it. That fat will render and prevent the chicken from drying out.

Stack thighs on skewers or central skewer until it reaches the top of the roaster. Optional: I take an onion and cut it in half, using each half as a cover for the top and bottom to additionally flavor the chicken.

Turn on vertical roaster and cook until it starts to brown/blacken on edges. Turn off roaster and slice outer edges, then resume cooking the meat until desired done-ness, repeating until all meat has been carved down.

Serve on a pita or on rice, with hummus or yogurt sauce.

For yogurt sauce, combine listed ingredients and mix well.

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