Chicken Shawarma is one of many traditional middle eastern foods that got its origins in Turkey during the time of the 18th century. When the dish made its way to Greece, the local people of the areas called it “gyros” which is a Greek word that means turn in English. Once the dish spread throughout the middle eastern part of the world, its name would change again to Shawarma. Today, there are several different Chicken Shawarma variations and recipes all of which infuse parts of a particular culture into the dish giving it a unique taste all across the world. If you’ve never experienced Chicken Shawarma before, you should give it a try to see how you like it.
A traditional Chicken Shawarma recipe would consist of turkey, chicken, beef, and lamb. However, as stated before there is an array of different ingredients that you can choose to use in your recipe. Below, we’re going to give you one of our favorite Chicken Shawarma recipes that’s easy to make and tastes delicious once finished.
You want to make sure that you follow all of the cooking steps thoroughly and in order so that you can get the results you expect. if any of the ingredients are incompatible with your existing diet for any reason, feel free to substitute some of the poultry with halal meat as it will give you much of the same taste and flavor profile.
Chicken Shawarma Ingredients:
- 4 large skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons of cumin
- 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
-2 teaspoons of paprika
-1 teaspoon of allspice
- ¾ teaspoons of turmeric
- ¼ teaspoons of garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1 small drop of cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Nonstick cooking oil spray
- Plastic wrap
- Baking sheet or grill sheet
cut your chicken breasts into small pieces of 5-6 per chicken breast and slice your chicken thighs into pieces of 3-4 per thigh then place the pieces in a Ziplock bag or marinating container.
combine ¼ cups of olive oil, ¾ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoons black pepper, and spices. Whisk the mixture until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout. Then you want to add your sliced pieces of chicken into the bowl and pour the marinating sauce over them until they are completely soaked.
place a plastic wrap around the bowl with the chicken pieces and marinade or you can seal all of the ingredients inside of a zipper bag. Put the bowl or plastic bag inside of your refrigerator and let it marinate from 1hr to 12hrs.
turn on your oven and preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, spray nonstick cooking oil on the baking sheet and then remove your marinating bag from the refrigerator. Place the marinated chicken pieces into the sprayed baking sheet and make sure they are evenly distributed.
put the pan with the chicken inside of the over and let it nicely caramelize for about 15-30min or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Turn the chicken pieces over halfway through to ensure even cooking.
Remove the chicken from the oven once it’s finished and let it cool off for a moderate amount of time. Cut the cooked meat into even smaller pieces almost like taco meat.
turn on your stovetop and add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to a stovetop pan over medium heat. Place the chicken pieces into the skillet and let them sauté for about 3-5 mins until you can see the meat browning in the pan. Make sure that the chicken is crisp and add a little pepper and salt to it while inside of the skillet for extra flavor.
take your finished chicken out of the skillet and place another 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to the pan placing the remaining chicken into it. Cook the remaining chicken pieces the same way as before.
Once you’ve completed step 9, your Chicken Shawarma is now ready to serve and enjoy. If you want to, you can also cook this recipe using a grill instead of an oven and stovetop if you want more of a Smokey taste and rich texture to the finished meal.
Chicken Shawarma is great because it is relatively low in its concentration of carbohydrates and a great source of the vitamin Iron. The dish is also high in Vitamin A contents and contains low amounts of sodium in addition to sugars. Chicken Shawarma is very rich in protein contents making it a great meal for those who are on a workout plan or strict weight loss diet. The dish also has high amounts of potassium and saturated fats while remaining very low on the calorie scales per serving. You can also substitute some of the recommended seasonings and meat types for your preferred variant however keep in mind that this may alter the nutritional value of the meal.
Chicken Shawarma is a very rich dish that has a lot of cultural history and impact across various regions around the world. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of halal food or middle eastern cuisines, this is definitely an easy first recipe for you to test your cooking skills with. Once you taste a bite of your finished product, you will be amazed at the vibrant flavors and bold tastes that it has to offer. While the dish has a very distinctive taste, it is not too overpowering which means that you’ll likely enjoy it on the first try instead of it being an acquired taste.
As long as you make sure that you follow the recipe step by step and allow the food enough time to fully cook properly, this is a fairly simple recipe that is hard to mess up. Enjoy!