Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

The New York Times described this dish as “an oven-roasted version of the classic street-side flavor bomb usually cooked on a rotisserie.” What a perfect description! This dish is insanely flavorful. We ate it with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, wheat flatbread, bulgur pilaf, and “white sauce.” The traditional white sauce that is served with this dish is plain yogurt or sour cream (I used sour cream on this occasion) mixed with a little bit of coarse salt, garlic, and lemon juice. It can also be served with hot sauce.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. My husband said he would eat it every day. 🙂 Fabulous!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • A pinch ground cinnamon
  • Red-pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Prepare a marinade for the chicken: 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. Add the chicken, and toss well to coat. Cover, and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425, preferably on convection roast. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine.
  4. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading everything evenly across it.
  5. Put the chicken in the oven, and roast until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 on convection roast, or up to 40 minutes in a standard oven.
  6. 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.)
  7. Scatter the parsley over the top and serve with tomatoes, cucumbers, pita or flatbread, white sauce, hot sauce, olives, fried eggplant, feta, rice — really anything you desire.

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