We tried this recipe the day it first appeared in the New York Times magazine earlier this year. It’s one of my favorite chicken recipes. It’s simple and doesn’t require much prep. The chicken is roasted in the oven, but tastes like it was roasted on a spit. I made this for a friend one of the last times he was in town. When he mentioned a second time how good it was recently, at first I couldn’t remember what he was talking about. So happy he jogged my memory, made it again this past weekend to more rave reviews. It’s a keeper.
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves smashed
1 tsp kosher salt (I added a bit more)
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika ( I used smoked paprika)
1/2 tsp tumeric
pinch of ground cinnamon
few pinches of red chili flakes
2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 2 inch chunks or basically 3 pieces)
1 or 2 lg. red onions peeled and quartered
2 tbsp chopped parsley
In a bowl prepare your marinade by whisking all of the marinade ingredients together. Pour them into a gallon sized ziplock along with the chicken and make sure each chicken piece is coated. Let it marinate in the fridge for 1-12 hours. You can also just add your chicken to the marinade bowl and cover it but I find the ziplock works best for even coating (that is my mom’s trick). Preheat your oven to 425 when you are ready. Add your onions to the marinade so they get a coating of marinade as well. Rub a sheet pan down with a little oil to prevent sticking, then remove the chicken and onions from the marinade…shaking off the excess marinade. Roast the chicken (give each piece some room to roast rather than steam by not letting them touch) for 30- 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes, then slice. To add a little crispness and /or heat up your shawarma, heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and saute the sliced chicken until slightly browned and curling up on the ends. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with pita, tomatoes + cucumber w/ a dash of rice wine vinegar, tahini sauce, white sauce, hot sauce, feta, hummus, olives, roasted eggplant, or whatever sounds good.