Chicken Shawarma - MumsVillage

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Chicken Shawarma

Chicken & Poultry,  Starters & Snacks

Serves 4

My husband can’t get enough Chicken Shawarma! This is a recipe for an oven-roasted version of the Middle Eastern classic street-side flavour bomb usually cooked on a rotisserie. Wrap the roasted chicken in pita bread and serve with tahini, chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, some olives, chopped coriander, some feta, fried eggplant, hummus swirled with harissa, rice or rice pilau. You can make the white sauce that traditionally accompanies it by cutting plain yoghurt with mayonnaise and lemon juice, and flecking it with garlic.

Prep Time

10 min

Cook Time

40 min

Total Time

50 min


  1. 1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  2. 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  3. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  4. 2 lemons, juiced
  5. ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  7. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  9. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  10. 2 teaspoons paprika
  11. ½ teaspoon turmeric
  12. A pinch ground cinnamon
  13. Red-pepper flakes, to taste

To prepare a marinade for the chicken

  1. Combine the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red-pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine.
  2. Add the chicken, and toss well to coat. Cover, and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

To cook marinated chicken

  1. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 210ºC.
  2. Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading everything evenly across it.
  3. Put the chicken in the oven, and roast until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 2 minutes, then slice into bits. (To make the chicken even more crisp, set a large pan over high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then the sliced chicken, and sauté until everything curls tight in the heat.)
  4. Scatter the coriander over the top and serve with tomatoes, cucumbers, pita, white sauce, hot sauce, olives, fried eggplant, feta, rice — really anything you desire.