Both the Accidental Locavore and Frank saw this on the NY Times website and thought it looked great, so it wasn’t long before it became dinner. While you probably want to start it marinating ahead of time, the actual cooking process is pretty quick and easy. Serves 4:
- 2 lemons, juiced
- ½ cup olive oil, plus about a tablespoon for greasing the pan
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled 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 (optional)
Make a marinade for the chicken. Combine the lemon juice, 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.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425°. Grease a rimmed sheet pan with the olive oil. 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 in a single layer.
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 across the grain. Garnish with parsley and serve with your choice of sauces—white, hot etc. and enjoy!
My verdict (and Frank’s): Great! Now that it’s warmer out, we’ll probably do this on the grill, but it worked fine in the oven. I served it with brown basmati rice (which took about as long as the chicken) and with both white sauce and harissa. For the white sauce, I used about 3/4 cup yogurt (actually labneh since I had some in the fridge), 1/3 cup mayo, juice of half a small lemon, and a garlic clove run through a garlic press. Check the taste and adjust as needed.
I made a small salad to mix up with the shawarma, of shredded lettuce, tomato and feta, so you could eat it on the side or add it to the chicken. Feel free to mix and match what you like to make this a great (and easy) meal!
Update: We did it again and grilled it this time. It was really good, but possibly a bit over-cooked. This time we served it with tabouli and asparagus grilled in a bit of the white sauce. Either way it’s a winner and how you cook it will just depend on whether you want to heat up your kitchen.